According to the official statistics James Ryan  did not miss a single tackle in the five European Champion Cup matches in which he started and the four when introduced as a replacement. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Devin Toner is occasionally hidden-in-plain-sight on a rugby pitch, eclipsed by more eye-catching contributions from his team-mates but they are the v(...)

Johnny Sexton at Leinster’s captain’s run at San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao on Friday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster Rugby v Racing 92   Kick-off: 5.45pm/ 4.45pm Irish time. Venue: San Mamés Stadium, Bilbao. On TV: Live on BT Sport and Sky Sp(...)

Isa Nacewa slips the tackle from Richard Wigglesworth of Saracens during the Champions Cup quarter-final at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

When it comes to naming Leinster’s best overseas signing, it says everything about Isa Nacewa’s impact at his adopted home that there really is no deb(...)

Simon Zebo: “My love for Munster could definitely bring me back. I’ve an incredible connection with the supporters around Munster.”  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

At face value it might look like a strange one. Simon Zebo will tomorrow line out for Munster against Racing 92 in the latter’s new U Arena, which wil(...)

Former France international fly-half Frederic Michalak will retire from rugby at the end of the season. Photo: Bertrand Langlois/Getty Images

Former France half-back Frederic Michalak will retire from rugby at the end of the season. The 35-year-old ends his career as France’s all-time leadi(...)

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne talks to the media after the decision to award ther 2023 Rugby World Cup to FRance was made in London. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Six years of work having ended in defeat in their bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the IRFU chief executive Philip Browne said it was too soon to(...)

Toulouse have struggled to recapture former glories and are currently outside the top six for qualification for next season’s Champions Cup. Photograph:  Nicolas Tucat/AFP/Getty Images

Stade Toulousain! The club is synonymous with winning and flair. No team has won more French Championships or European Cups. They also did so with a c(...)

RC Toulon’s Australian fullback James OConnor  vies with Bath’s Fijian wing Semesa Rokoduguni  during the European Champions Cup rugby union match at the Mayol stadium in Toulon, France. Photograph: Getty Images

Toulon 12 Bath 9 Bath came agonisingly close to a little piece of history beside the Mediterranean but, barring something extraordinary, their Champi(...)

France’s Morgan Parra and Brice Dulin try to halt New Zealand centre Ma’a Nonu at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Richie McCaw turns and leads with a glance. The other unsmiling giants immediately know the command is rapidity. Seven disciples, led by Kieran Read, (...)

France’s head coach Philippe Saint André (right) speaks with his captain Thierry Dusautoir during a training session at Newport High School ahead of the World Cup quarter-final match against New Zealand. Photograph: Getty.

New Zealand v France Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, 8.0 TV3 , ITV No team spooks the All Blacks at the World Cup quite like the French, and with good r(...)

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