Eden Park

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Ireland’s CJ Stander, Andrew Porter and James Ryan during the anthems before their defeat to Japan at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

A worrying picture is beginning to form of this Ireland pack being ranked below previous Irish versions at World Cups. That theory can be altered over(...)

New Zealand fullback Beauden Barrett  makes a break during the Rugby World Cup Group B game between New Zealand and South Africa at the International Stadium in Yokohama. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

New Zealand 23 South Africa 13 The significance of Ireland’s victory over Scotland on Sunday was heightened by the extraordinary spectacle the day be(...)

Ireland’s James Ryan in action against  Wales in  February  2018 at the Aviva. Gordon D’Arcy, Fiona Coghlan and John O’Sullivan view him as the top northern hemisphere player of the tournament. Photograph:  Julian Finney/Getty Images

Gerry Thornley (Rugby Correspondent) Q1 – How far can Ireland go (where does it end)? Ireland are one of several teams that could actually win the w(...)

All Blacks’ Sevu Reece celebrates his try with Beauden Barrett in the 2019 Investec Rugby Championship at Eden Park, Auckland on Saturday. Photograph: Marty Melville/Inpho/Photosport

The Rugby Championship crown may have rested uneasily on their heads, but the Bledisloe Cup still sits snugly in place. Steve Hansen has always mainta(...)

 Richie Mo’unga: he could miss the All Blacks’ final World Cup warm-up match against Tonga on September 7th. Photograph: Photosport/Marty Melville/Inpho

New Zealand outhalf Richie Mo’unga has been cleared of a serious shoulder injury but could miss the All Blacks’ final World Cup warm-up match against (...)

Australia outhalf Christian Lealiifano, supported by Kurtley Beale,  runs the ball during the  Rugby Championship match against New Zealand at Optus Stadium  in Perth. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

At is zenith, rugby is a game requiring supreme strategy. The top eight teams in the world are so closely matched that only those who can execute a t(...)

Reece Hodge of Australia celebrates his try during the 2019 Rugby Championship test match between Australia and  New Zealand last Saturday. Photograph:  James Worsfold/Getty Images

Uneasy lies the crown. The feeling that this year’s World Cup is undoubtedly the most openly competitive in yonks, perhaps ever, was strengthened by t(...)

Australia’s Nic White will start against the All Blacks. Photoraph:  Christiaan Kotze/Getty Images

Australia have approached fixtures against New Zealand more in hope than expectation over the last 12 years but their record against the All Blacks in(...)

 Johnny Sexton claps England’s Owen Farrell off the pitch following the home defeat in the Six Nations which inflicted significant psychological damage on Ireland. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The Rugby Championship is making for somewhat uncomfortable viewing from this side of the global spectrum. Having provided all four semi-finalists at (...)

Ireland’s Jacob Stockdale scores a try despite Damian McKenzie and Aaron Smith of New Zealand during the Guinness November Series win over the All Blacks. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

The season just gone lingers into the next campaign, and particularly the World Cup, with barely a pause for breath, especially for the players and ba(...)

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