Joe Schmidt

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Scott Fardy: played 76 times over four seasons for Leinster. “Fards is a competitive animal, he doesn’t like losing,” says Guy Easterby. “He’s added so much in terms of mindset and not taking a backward step.” Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

CJ Stander and Scott Fardy will ride off into the sunset with their legacies assured; Marcel Coetzee will leave some big shoes to fill at Ulster and t(...)

Ronan O’Gara’s La Rochelle host Leinster in the Champions Cup and are well placed to reach the play-offs in the Top 14. File photograph: Getty Images

As expected, Ronan O’Gara is to assume the director of rugby role at La Rochelle at the end of the season on foot of Jono Gibbes moving on to Clermont(...)

Racing 92’s Simon Zebo is tackled by Ben Tapuai of Harlequins during the Heineken Champions Cup match at the  Twickenham Stoop in December. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

It is a measure of Simon Zebo’s desire to not only reclaim his place in the Munster jersey but the Irish one as well that he has, as Johann van Graan (...)

Johnny  Sexton celebrates scoring a  try during the 2011 final against Northampton at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Whatever way you look at it, that was a special win, even by Leinster’s standards. To down the reigning European and English champions after falling 1(...)

Fiji is a possible destination for an Ireland tour this summer. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The IRFU have abandoned plans to re-route some of their proposed summer tour to Australia and are instead exploring the feasibility of pressing ahead (...)

France’s head coach Fabien Galthié: he claimed  Welsh players “specialised” in getting opposition players sent off.   Photograph: Getty Images

The 2021 Six Nations Championship was more than we could possibly have hoped for, never mind anticipated. For all the brouhaha which accompanied Franc(...)

The 2021 Six Nations Championship will be decided this weekend. Photograph: Getty Images

Permutations Wales sit proudly at the top of the Six Nations table with one fixture to play against France and for Wayne Pivac the permutations are s(...)

 Jacob Stockdale makes a break for Ulster against Dragons. The Ulster fullback has stormed back from injury, looking closer to his scintillating best more than any time since 2018. Photograph: Ryan Hiscott/Inpho

Heretofore, loyalty shown by Ireland coach Andy Farrell has been admirable. Billy Burns flunks the last play against Wales, and Ireland lose, yet Farr(...)

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has been part of the negotiation process with the seven players whose IRFU central contracts expired this summer. File photograph: PA

Different time, different head coach, wildly contrasting results. For numerous reasons. Beating Scotland and England would fatten up statistics that (...)

Devin Toner remains an important part of the Leinster squad. File photograph: Inpho

The milestone is within reach. One more appearance will see Devin Toner pull alongside Gordon D’Arcy (261) as the most capped rugby player in Leinster(...)

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