George Ford

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Referee Luke Pearce gestures during the European Champions Cup final  between La Rochelle and Toulouse at Twickenham Stadium. Photograph:  Adrian Dennis/AFP

The US defence secretary under President George W Bush was Donald Rumsfeld. He famously informed us about his “known unknowns”, and also his “unknown (...)

It is nearly decision time for Warren Gatland. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty

Gerry Thornley The parameters are different from four years ago. Back then, in those wild, crazy, pre-pandemic days, Warren Gatland was permitted to (...)

Connacht  head coach Andy Friend during training ahead of his side’s clash with Leicester. Photograph:  Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Challenge Cup Round of 16 preview: Leicester Tigers v Connacht Rugby  Saturday 8pm, Mattioli Woods Welford Road Statistics do not lie. Connacht’(...)

Andy Friend believes Connacht must avoid an arm wrestle against Leicester in Saturday night’s Challenge Cup Round of 16 clash at Welford Road. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Connacht’s poor run of results against English Premiership sides in European rugby is just one more “hoodoo” Andy Friend’s squad must break when they (...)

Johnny Sexton and George Ford will both play a key role for their teams on Saturday. File photograph: Getty Images

Sexton v Ford Johnny Sexton Club: Leinster Position: Outhalf Age: 35 Height: 1.88m (6’2”) Weight: 90kg (14st 2lbs) Ireland caps: 98 Points: 903 Why’s(...)

England’s Jonny May  in action against France during the Six Nations game at Twickenham. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Rugby played high in the sky will suit England down to the ground. Send all box kicks and Garryowens into Jonny May’s fly zone? The sprinter craves su(...)

 Johnny Sexton played a key role in Ireland’s win over Scotland. Photograph: Inpho

No head shaking in disgust or killer stare at the coaching box, Ireland’s captain went all 80 minutes to deliver when it really mattered. Johnny Sex(...)

England’s Maro Itoje scores a try to beat France at Twickenham. Photograph: PA

England 23 France 20 An utterly compelling and at times scintillating game of rugby, particularly in the first half, was settled in England’s favour (...)

 George Ford is back in the England team this week. Photograph: Getty Images

Six Nations: England v Italy Kick-off: 2.15pm, Saturday. Venue: Twickenham. How to follow: The Irish Times liveblog will begin at 1.45pm. On TV: Live(...)

England have added props Kyle Sinckler and Mako Vunipola to their squad for Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Italy. Photograph: PA

Mako Vunipola has declared himself ready to answer England’s call as Eddie Jones considers throwing another of his rusty Saracens contingent in at the(...)

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