George Gregan

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Rassie Erasmus, the South Africa head coach, holds aloft the Webb Ellis Cup after their victory over England in the World Cup Final in  Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Springboks issues: History is initially written by the victors but that does not mean glaring concerns surrounding the Springboks should be ignored.(...)

England defence coach John Mitchell Mitchell was briefly Ireland’s forwards coach in 1997.  Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Such is the crossover in coaches among what remains a relatively small rugby world at the elite level, it is not unusual for some of them to come up a(...)

Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton will start and Ireland Test together for the 55th time against Samoa, equalling the halfback pairing of Ronan O’Gara and Peter Stringer. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

As Typhoon Hagibis already begins to wreak havoc on the final weekend of the pool stages before doing so on Tokyo itself, Ireland’s game against Samoa(...)

Tommy Bowe:  will  host the Rugby World Cup coverage on eir Sport where he’ll have a trio of ex-team-mates for company – Gordon D’Arcy, Peter Stringer and Jerry Flannery. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

This is very definitely a World Cup for people who get up early in the morning. And with 48 matches over 44 days, the schedule will be a gruelling en(...)

Joey Carbery: he  had been earmarked for this World Cup in part because he also covered full-back and at a push the role of third choice scrum-half

Nobody died, but it sure as hell felt like someone had. Everyone being dressed in black maybe added to the funereal atmosphere. The news had broken ea(...)

Australia outhalf Christian Lealiifano, supported by Kurtley Beale,  runs the ball during the  Rugby Championship match against New Zealand at Optus Stadium  in Perth. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

At is zenith, rugby is a game requiring supreme strategy. The top eight teams in the world are so closely matched that only those who can execute a t(...)

 Joey Carbery can become the other playmaker Ireland need.   Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

In what had been a titanic 2003 RWC semi-final, time was running out for New Zealand and Australia were seconds away from winning through to the World(...)

South Africa captain Siya Kolisi prior to a match against Wales last November. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Lunch with Bryan Habana happens in New York, which is not where one would usually find a great South Africa wing. Not long before we sit down, though,(...)

Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton are the most decorated Irish half-back pairing ever in international rugby. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Teams evolve. So it was that when the Grand Slammers of 2009, Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell et al, retired, it turned out not to be the end of t(...)

 Johnny Sexton is engulfed by his teammates after scoring the winning  drop goal in Paris. Photograph:  Getty Images

The clock has passed the 77 minute mark. Ireland trail France by 13-12 and their goose looks cooked. Anthony Belleau is lining up a kickable penalty a(...)

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