Eddy Ben Arous

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Rémi Talés fails to score a last-minute drop goal for Racing 92 in the Champions Cup final against Leinster. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

European Champions Cup final Leinster 15 Racing 12 Like all great teams – and Leinster can now be bracketed thus – it can’t always be all-singing an(...)

Johnny Sexton at Leinster’s captain’s run at San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao on Friday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster Rugby v Racing 92   Kick-off: 5.45pm/ 4.45pm Irish time. Venue: San Mamés Stadium, Bilbao. On TV: Live on BT Sport and Sky Sp(...)

Leinster’s Tadgh Furlong: “Don’t get too carried away by the highs,  but don’t get too carried away by the lows either.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Tadhg Furlong has already ticked plenty of boxes in his career. At just 25 he’s already established himself as a worldc lass tight-head in drawing a s(...)

Racing 92’s  Juan Imhoff  runs with the ball during the French Top 14 rugby union match between Racing 92 and SU Agen, at La Rabine Stadium in Vannes, western France, last Saturday. Photograph: Fred Tanneau/AFP/Getty Images

While the loss of captain, playmaker and primary goalkicker Maxime Machenaud has dominated the headlines regarding Racing 92 since they disposed of Mu(...)

Fear of further failure fuelled Leinster’s Heineken Cup victory over Leicester in 2009. File photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leinster never needed to lose a final to learn how to win a final. There had been enough suffering by the time we got to Murrayfield in 2009. Leo Cul(...)

Racing 92 winger Teddy Thomas  passes the ball to his captain Maxime Machenaud to score their third  try in the Champions Cup semi-final at the Stade  Chaban-Delmasin Bordeaux. Photograph: Nicolas Tucat/AFP/Getty Images

Racing 27 Munster 22 Something of a Groundhog Day for Munster. This sixth successive semi-final defeat in the European Champions Cup was as anti-clim(...)

France flyhalf Anthony Belleau in action against South Africa in November. Belleau is among the youngsters in the squad that could pose a threat in the Six Nations. Photograph:  Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

“I think the French are in a mess,” observed Ronan O’Gara as bluntly as ever at his first press conference in his new guise as the Crusaders back coac(...)

Louis Picamoles scores France’s third try during the Six Nations match against Italy at Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Photograph:   Alessandro Bianchi/ Reuters

Italy 18 France 40 Italy eschewed the tactic of standing off at rucks that perplexed England but were nevertheless beaten 40-18 by France at the Stad(...)

Guy Noves has made four changes to his France side for their Six Nations clash with Italy. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

Fullback Brice Dulin will start for France against Italy in the Six Nations as manager Guy Noves makes four changes to his team for Saturday’s game at(...)

Ireland outhalf  Jonathan Sexton celebrates kicking a drop goal with  Rob Kearney during the Six Nations match against France at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland 19 France 9 This was as tough, exhausting, draining and full-on as we expected, and perhaps, as the rain came in the second half, even more s(...)

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