Joe Schmidt

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Japan celebrate their win over Ireland. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Relive Irish misery and Japanese joy in reverse. Last year provided a fascinating study in how everything can go wrong when a sports team is unequippe(...)

Joe Schmidt: World Rugby have given Schmidt a daunting new brief. Not many people would consider taking on such an enormous task but it sounds like a job made for Ireland’s meticulous former coach. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

Joe Schmidt has taken up an interesting position inside World Rugby. The Director of Rugby and High Performance title has been created for him. It is (...)

Ulster’s John Cooney impressed in Ulster’s Pro14 win on Saturday evening in Wales. Photograph: Inpho

Cooney’s search for meaning Sitting in Auschwitz, Viktor Frankl never imagined that someday his musings would inspire our Offloader of the Week. But (...)

Tommy Bowe: has become a familiar figure on our television screens having embraced a media career   following his rugby career. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Tommy Bowe is on the road. Work, a weary daily beat of Belfast, Dublin, Dublin, Belfast. “Tired but I’m good. It’s all go,” he says, unbroken by the (...)

Joe Schmidt is World Rugby’s new Director of Rugby and High Performance. File photograph: Inpho

World Rugby’s appointment of Joe Schmidt as their newly created “director of rugby and high performance” provides the ultimate example of poacher turn(...)

Munster’s Ben Healy was the hero on Saturday in Wales. Photograph: Inpho

The 2020/21 season is going well if . . . After watching events unfold at the RDS on Friday we envisaged Andy Farrell’s Ireland squad for Paris conta(...)

Leinster players after  the defeat to Saracens in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

We’re putting on the hindsight goggles again. Leinster used the World Cup analogy coming out of lockdown. The theory was sound. Pool matches were the(...)

Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall pictured before the Heineken Champions Cup match against Racing 92  at Allianz Park back in January. Photograph: Henry Browne/Getty Images

The life and times of Mark McCall will always be connected to Saracens FC. That also means the Bangor native is tainted by a level of disgrace attaina(...)

 Ulster coach Dan McFarland: ”I have a love of the contact, of collective speed, that the system lasts longer at a persistent speed than the opposition.”  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

There are several ways to interpret Ulster’s awful restart. They appear to be mired in pre-season mode. At least the halfbacks cannot mess up the fund(...)

Brian O’Driscoll scores a try in the Six Nations Championship game between Ireland and France on February 7th, 2009. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Brian O’Driscoll had barely turned 20 when he announced himself to the world in his rookie season with that hat-trick in Paris. He was only 21 when he(...)

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