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(...)

Charles Piutau scores in the dying minutes against Leinster in the European Champions Cup match at the RDS.Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

The stakes are high for Leinster today. Following on from their alarmingly limp defeat at home to Wasps last Sunday, another loss today in Bath would (...)

The All Blacks doing their lateral passing drill at half-time in the World Cup final. Instead of a cerebral chat in the dressing room they practised this key skill at speed.

At half -time in the RWC Final New Zealand came out early. The score stood in their favour 16-3. Why did they come out early in the biggest game on(...)

Australia’s scrum coach Mario Ledesma takes part in a team training session in Teddington, south west London. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty

In the end, this week’s public silence proved deafening. “I had no idea what he was doing, I just push on the side, mate.” That’s the point. Even Mich(...)

Argentina stand arm in arm before the game against Namibia. “For them to win,” says journalist Alejo Miranda, “I think they have to have an early lead, like they did for example against South Africa in Durban.” Pphotograph: Jason Cairnduff/Inpho

The Pumas are the outstanding success story of world rugby in the professional era. They are also the most improved team in the world over the last fo(...)

 With the Pumas entering the Rugby Championship in 2012, it was the time for decisive leadership and action. Photo: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

After the 2011 World Cup, the leading strategists in Argentina decided the Pumas had to change the way they were playing. They always played with p(...)

Argentina’s Juan Martin Hernández glides through the Georgian defence during the Pool C match at Kingsholm. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images.

As in 2007, Juan Martín Hernández rocks up to a World Cup and struts around the pitch looking like a contender for the World Player of the Year again.(...)

Felipe Contepomi: “For me he (Sexton) is one of the best outhalves in the world, if not the best. I feel sorry for him not to be fit. Maybe good for Argentina, I don’t know, because Ireland have big depth in strength.”

Felipe Contepomi remains a doctor of medicine even while doing a spot of journalism and coaching the Jaguars these past few days, weeks, months. Life(...)

Johnny Sexton  runs with the ball during the   Pool D match against Italy. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty

The Youtube clip titled “Bastareaud et Sexton: L’histoire d’un bus et d’un piéton [the history of a bus and a pedestrian]” will displease Johnny Sexto(...)

Scott Williams leaves England’s Mike Brown and Sam Burgess trailing in his wake at Twickenham. Burgess showed all the attributes of his rugby league background in what was England’s biggest game for eight years. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

I only started playing centre in 2004. It took until the 2007 World Cup before I felt properly attuned to the nuances of the position and comfortable (...)

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