Felipe Contepomi celebrates with team mates Denis Hickie (left) and Will Green after their victory in Toulouse in the Heineken Cup quarter-final in 2006. ‘There were a lot of similarities between that game and Leinster’s loss to Clermont.’ Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

History does not always repeat itself but it has a lovely habit of rhyming. Watching Leinster backs tear out of their 22 in Lyon I was instantly remin(...)

(From L) France’s centre Remi Lamerat, France’s scrum-half Baptiste Serin, France’s centre Gael Fickou, France’s prop Uini Atonio, France’s full back Scott Spedding and France’s flanker Louis Picamoles celebrate a try at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

Almost all my success as a Leinster player came alongside Johnny Sexton, we won a Six Nations title together in Paris, so I maintain an unapologetic b(...)

Dr Arthur Tanner  attending to  Brian O’Driscoll at the Aviva Stadium in 2014. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Isn’t it strange that princes and kings and clowns that caper in sawdust rings and common people like you and me are builders for eternity? Each is(...)

Jonathan Sexton kicks at goal against Montpellier, a game in which he reached a landmark in Champions Cup rugby. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/inpho

Jonathan Sexton reached a milestone in Champions Cup rugby in the 55th minute of last Friday night’s 57-3 victory over Montpellier at the RDS when con(...)

New Zealand’s Malakai Fekitoa tackles Simon Zebo of Ireland around the neck during the November international at the Aviva stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Nigel Owens made a call last weekend. It was an incorrect interpretation of the rules but he was decisive. It was instinctive, as Nigel trusted his e(...)

Ireland’s Sean O’Brien leaves the pitch after Ireland’s defeat to New Zealand. Photo: Inpho

Michael Cheika, day one in Leinster, made Jamie Heaslip his number eight. Des Dillon was primed to be Victor Costello’s successor, but Cheika saw an u(...)

Leinster outhalf Felipe Contepomi celebrates scoring a try against Munster in the Celtic League in 2005. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Time was when Leinster-Munster could claim to be the biggest provincial/club rivalry in the world. It was truly that big. And to underline the point (...)

Tempers flare during the 2009 Heineken Cup semi-final at Croke Park. Photo: Inpho

Whenever I played Munster I did foolish things with my body. Put my head where it could be gnashed by long steel studs. Shunned all logic from my min(...)

Leinster’s Joey Carbery: the Glasgow game was only his third cap for Leinster, but now he knows what he can and cannot get away with. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Rarely do I want to talk rugby, never mind seek someone out to chat specifically about it. I loved playing for 23 years, I now enjoy writing about it(...)

 Aly Muldowney and Bundee Aki celebrate with John Muldoon after Connacht’s Pro12 win over Leinster. Connacht’s success was built on Pat Lam striking the correct balance between homegrown talent and players recruited from elsewhere.

Remarkably, despite two Irish teams each being one victory away from achieving what no Irish team has ever done before, this cannot be considered a gr(...)

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