Ian Madigan

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 Billy Vunipola of Saracens applauds the crowd during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match against Bristol Bears  at Ashton Gate. Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall admitted his England number eight Billy Vunipola had “stuff in his head” over the 24 hours before the Premiersh(...)

 Joe Schmidt: The last time he saw Ireland recover from an interval deficit to record a victory was in the  23-17 victory over the Pumas  in Tucumán, Argentina in  2014. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland’s 23-17 victory over the Pumas at the Estadio Monumental Jose Fiero in Tucumán, Argentina on Saturday, June 14th, 2014 represents a landmark m(...)

An injured Gordon D’Arcy  during Ireland’s Guinness Series clash with Australia in November 2014.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Memory lane and a cautionary tale rolled into one. After the November series in 2014 I decided to put all my efforts into making the World Cup squad. (...)

Andrew Conway: could face a scrap for a place in the Ireland squad with the likes of Chris Farrell and  Will Addison. Photograph: Tommy dickson/Inpho

Joe Schmidt swept away the debris. The succession plan revealed, Andy Farrell takes over with Schmidt departing in November 2019. Now, as a reward, th(...)

 Ian Madigan of Bristol Bears celebrates during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Bristol Bears and Leicester Tigers. Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images

Former England centre Kyle Eastmond was sent off as 14-man Leicester crashed to a 41-10 English Premiership defeat against Bristol at Ashton Gate. R(...)

Ireland’s Andrew Conway scores a try during the autumn international against the USA at the Aviva stadium. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Joe Schmidt’s head was wrecked. He said it last week. Andrew Conway’s head was not at all. A hat-trick against the USA and all the trimmings, Conway w(...)

Ryan Crotty takes an offload from Dane Coles (not pictured) to score the winning try in the closing moments against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in 2013. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

For year upon year we heard Irish players talk of the motivation that went with the chance to make history, to be part of the first Irish team to beat(...)

Ireland’s Sean Cronin  celebrates with Rhys Ruddock, right, after scoring in their victory over  Italy on Saturday in  Chicago. Photograph: Kamil Krzaczynski/AP Photo

Time was when Ireland used to tango with Argentina on a fairly regular basis, so much so it prompted the former Ireland manager Brian O’Brien to liken(...)

Ian McKinley in action for Treviso against Cardiff Blues. “I’m  an international rugby player now. No-one can ever take that away.”  Photograph: Ashley Crowden/Inpho

Since his early teens he dreamed of lining up in front of the Irish flag, listening to Ireland's Call before representing his country in the sport he (...)

Conor Murray and Kieran Marmion: the Connacht scrumhalf   has had the misfortune of being an unused replacement on six occasions for Ireland. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

England’s head coach Eddie Jones lists them as ‘finishers’ on his team sheet, other coaches choose more traditional terminology. But there is universa(...)

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