Denis Coulson and Bundee Aki taking part in a Connacht squad session at the Sportsground on Tuesday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht spent little time this week smarting over their defeat to Munster as they prepare to qualify once again for the latter stages of European co(...)

Peter Stringer in action for Worcester Warriors in September. Photograph: Getty Images

Peter Stringer has returned to Ireland, leaving Worcester Warriors after being told he will not receive a new contract. The 40 year-old former Munste(...)

Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth shakes hands with  coach Alister Coetzee following the Rugby Championship match     between the All Blacks and the South African’s   on September 16th, 2017, in Auckland which  the  New Zealand side won 57-0.  Photograph:  Phil Walter/Getty Images

The picture tells the story. In the foreground of the shot taken by Phil Walter of Getty, Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth stands with his arms almost (...)

Christian Wade dives to score during Wasps’ 40-33 win over Worcester at the Ricoh Arena. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

Wasps 40 Worcester 33 Wasps moved five points clear of Exeter at the top of the Premiership with a 40-33 win over Worcester at the Ricoh Arena. Howe(...)

Cian Healy: Prop is set to decide between Leinster, Toulon and Worcester Warriors this week. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Leinster chief executive Mick Dawson is understood to have intervened with private investment to top-up a deal that would keep Cian Healy in Dublin af(...)

“Two hours each morning, two hours each evening, ‘three on, one off, double splits’. The gym was the one place I had control. I didn’t have to spea(...)

Ireland  coach Joe Schmidt speaks to his players before the game against South Africa.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

It’s possibly just as well that the Irish defensive system had its late malfunction to allow JP Pietersen in for South Africa’s consolation try. This (...)

 Jannie Du Plessis and Duane Vermeulen on the attack for South Africa during the  clash at the Aviva Stadium. Photo:  Patrick Bolger/Getty Images

Slow poison. That’s the Springbok name for their power, for their scrum, for their lineout maul and how, eventually, it seeps into your blood stream (...)

Ireland’s Rhys Ruddock makes a break for the tryline with the support of Paul O’Connell during Ireland’s victory over South Africa on Saturday. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Ireland 29 South Africa 15 After the biffing and boshing Ireland took in the second quarter, the 6-3 lead looked a little flimsy and there we(...)

Rhys Ruddock  breaks off a maul to score Ireland’s first try in the game against South Africa at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Ireland 29 South Africa 15 There was an elemental beauty to Ireland’s victory, not in the conventional sense of aesthetically pleasing running (...)

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