Gert Smal

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The Ireland 10 Ross Byrne needs to have one eye on “the plan” and the other on what his gut tells him. Keep the forwards on the front foot and build pressure on the scoreboard. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Andy Farrell said he learned a lot about the players who played at Twickenham for the first time. Some of them became men, he said. Great to hear – a(...)

Eddie O’Sullivan, then assistant coach  with Ireland coach Warren Gatland in 2000. He succeeded the Welshman in the role in 2002. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Andy Farrell faces into his first Six Nations looking to infuse belief and momentum into the new regime. The disappointment of the World Cup is large(...)

Ireland’s CJ Stander, Andrew Porter and James Ryan during the anthems before their defeat to Japan at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

A worrying picture is beginning to form of this Ireland pack being ranked below previous Irish versions at World Cups. That theory can be altered over(...)

The Ireland team celebrate winning the Grand Slam at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Consulting, farming, coaching and media darlings aplenty, here are the 2009 Grand Slammers revisited. The campaign got off to a stunning start with J(...)

 Munster’s Gerbrandt Grobler  will make his first start for the province. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Cardiff Blues v Munster Arms Park, 5.30pm – Sky Sports This fixture plays out against two interesting backdrops - the Cardiff Blues coaching problems(...)

While this may be a remodelled, more multi-racial Springboks which runs out into a virtual 46,000 sell-out at Newlands, with talk of a more expansive, ball-in-hand game – as former Irish forwards’ coach Gert Smal forecast when visiting the Irish team hotel during the week – some things will never change with a Springbok team.

Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town. Kick-off: 5pm local time/4pm Irish time. On TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 HD. First off, as a rule, a game of rugby(...)

Munster coach Anthony Foley will remain at the province until the end of the 2016-17 season at least. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

In a striking statement of faith in their head coach at a time of difficulty after three defeats in a row, including a damaging loss to Leicester in t(...)

South African flanker Duane Vermeulen shakes hands with  Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal   after signing a three-year contract with the Top 14 club. Photo: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images

Former Ireland forwards coach Gert Smal has launched a stern rebuke to Duane Vermeulen over the manner of his signing with French giants Toulon. The S(...)

Victor Matfield on Paul O’Connell: “”You can see he puts in a lot of hours in analysing, preparing and getting his whole unit ready for the weekend. So it is always tough going up against him.” Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

The importance of the lineout as a starter point in attack and also a key area when it comes to defence was at the nub of a question directed to South(...)

Anthony Foley has been named as the new coach of Munster. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Anthony Foley says his promotion to the head coaching job at Munster from next season will not consume him – as it’s what his life in rugby has(...)

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