Garry Ringrose

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Ireland’s  Conor Murray  is tackled by New Zealand flanker Sam Cane. “Underhill and Curry have been pretty impressive,” said Cane. “They’ve both got a huge appetite for hard work, very good skill sets.” Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Gettty

It would probably only deepen the wounds from last Saturday’s quarter-final in Tokyo Stadium were England to dethrone New Zealand in next Saturday’s p(...)

Ireland’s James Ryan is tackled by New Zealand flanker Ardie Savea during the Rugby World Cup quarter-final in Tokyo. Photograph: Behrouz Mehri/AFP via Getty Images

The ghosts of World Cups past are floating about the Ajinomoto stadium. Those who remember are forgiven for feeling like they have been transported ba(...)

 New Zealand’s Matt Todd scores a try in the second half. Photograph: Getty Images

Black is the colour. So Joe Schmidt’s six years in charge of Ireland draws to a profoundly disappointing close with the velvet colour of his native Ne(...)

Johnny Sexton walks out for the captain’s run ahead of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final date with the All Blacks. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

Spiky, bullish, funny and calm. If Johnny Sexton can repeat the masterly performance of this lone ranger Captain’s Run in Chofu - way out in deep west(...)

New Zealand blindside wing forward Ardie Savea was phenomenal as South Africa ran riot over the All Blacks in those opening 20 minutes of their group clash. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Practise the skill and not the drill. And, of course, the crucial decision-making process. In attack or defence, when hunting to convert pressure into(...)

 Johnny Sexton has again showed how vital he is to Ireland’s cause on the pitch during thei Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Hiroshi Yamamura/EPA

15 Rob Kearney (Leinster) Age: 33 Height: 6’1” Weight: 95kg (14st, 11lbs) Caps: 94 After going nearly four years without a try, Kearney is now scoring(...)

 Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga of the All Blacks run through drills during a  training session at Tatsuminomori Seaside Park  in Tokyo. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

15 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes) Age: 28 Height: 6’2” Weight: 91kg (14st, 5lbs) Caps: 80 The world’s best outhalf is now doing a pretty good job from f(...)

The Ireland and New Zealand encounters define the Joe Schmidt era.

Joe Schmidt’s decade in Ireland has yielded unprecedented success ever since Johnny Sexton orchestrated Leinster’s miracle revival against Northampton(...)

New Zealand fullback Beauden Barrett holds on to South Africa winger Cheslin Kolbe  during the  Rugby World Cup Pool B game at Yokohama International Stadium. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The All Blacks. Are there two more evocative, romantic, powerful words in world sport? Is there a team whose name alone can strike as much fear and aw(...)

 Rob Kearney has got the nod at fullback to face New Zealand in Saturday’s Rugby World cup quarter-final. Photograph:    Adam Davy/PA Wire

Rugby World Cup quarter-final: New Zealand v Ireland Kick-off: 11.15am Irish time, Saturday. Venue: Tokyo Stadium. How to follow: The Irish Times liv(...)

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