Fabien Galthie

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 Johnny Sexton is engulfed by his teammates after scoring the winning  drop goal in Paris. Photograph:  Getty Images

The clock has passed the 77 minute mark. Ireland trail France by 13-12 and their goose looks cooked. Anthony Belleau is lining up a kickable penalty a(...)

Tom Daly returned to competitive action for Lansdowne. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Daly hoping Cullen remembers a face There may not have been many smiles in the RDS on Saturday night but at Lansdowne Road Leinster’s Tom Daly ended (...)

Munster’s Conor Murray protests before being awarded a try during the Champions Cup quarter-final against Toulon. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Another European offering of Munster making the extraordinary seem commonplace. Thomond Park again trembled with a familiar pride. It would be far fr(...)

A dejected Toulon captain  Mathieu Bastareaud at the post-match press conference at Thomond Park following the Champions Cup defeat to Munster. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Toulon coach Fabien Galthie bemoaned that France do not have the provincial structures of Ireland after Munster’s gutsy team display outshone his squa(...)

Toulon head coach Fabien Galthie will arrive in Munster under no illusions. Photograph:  Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images

Several years ago when Toulon travelled to Limerick, I met the then Toulon coach, Philippe Saint-André. A highly intelligent man, Philippe understood (...)

Munster squad training in UL  on Monday. Phototgraph: ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

At face value, once again the odds appear to be stacked against Munster. Three-time winners Toulon have three or four times the playing budget, and in(...)

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(...)

Scarlets’ Ken Owens, Ospreys’ Ashley Beck, Ulster’s Rory Best, Munster’s Peter O’Mahony, Glasgow Warriors’ Stuart Hogg, Leinster’s Isa Nacewa and Benetton Treviso’s Dean Budd at the Champions Cup launch in Dublin last week. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The bully boys in the Anglo-French alliance which shredded the old Heineken Cup and ERC would be loathe to admit it, but last season’s revival by the (...)

Saracens once again look like being the team to beat this year. Photo: Getty Images

Pool 1: Harlequins, La Rochelle, Ulster, Wasps After three pool exits in a row (losing 10 of 18 matches) Ulster should be better equipped this season(...)

Frans Steyn of Montpellier is tackled by Teimana Harrison of Northampton Saints during the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Northampton Saints and Montpellier at Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton, England. Photo: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

The deep-rooted and potentially unsolvable problem facing Springbok rugby is clear for all to see at Montpellier Hérault. There are 12 South Africans(...)

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