John Afoa

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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(...)

Niyi Adeolokun celebrates with John Muldoon after Bristol Bears’ win over RC Toulon at Stade Maurice-David in October. Photo: Alex Caparros/Getty Images

“The fathach is gone now, he has gone back to his castle but the memories live on.” – Connacht tribute to John Muldoon in 2018 When elders of the hur(...)

A general view of Thomond Park ahead of the meeting of Munster and Gloucester in October 2018. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Picture the scene. Around tea-time on a Saturday, it’s approaching kick-off. Munster have their backs to the wall yet again, some Fancy Dans from Engl(...)

Isa Nacewa celebrates with Leinster fans after the Guinness Pro 14 Final win over the Scarlets in May 2018. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

New Zealand reopens Monday morning. A beacon of successful recovery in the time of Covid, their strict measures means much of the economy will never d(...)

Ulster team manager Bryn Cunningham: ‘I came in around November 2014 and we had a very strong first XV on paper that year and in subsequent years but there wasn’t the depth below that.’ Photograph: Matt Mackey/Inpho/Presseye

It is March 2018, the Belfast rape trial is ongoing, when Ulster hosts a meeting with season ticket holders. The room is soaked in vitriol as supporte(...)

Ulster’s Marcell Coetzee is presented with the man of the match award by Barney McCann after the Pro14 win over Munster. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Whenever the provinces sign ‘foreign’ or to use another term ‘non Irish qualified’ (NIQ) players there is occasionally a period of uncertainty before (...)

 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(...)

Pat Lam’s Bristol have spent heavily as they bid to retain their top-flight status following last season’s promotion. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Bristol’s first season back in the Premiership is likely to have a significant bearing on whether the top flight is ring-fenced, according to the Engl(...)

John Afoa at the Gloucester Captain’s Run in  San Mamés Stadium in  Bilbao: “We’ve lacked a little bit of intensity in the last few games but there is no point worrying about the last few weeks. It’s all about trying to lift the trophy.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Gloucester have prioritised performance over results since Johan Ackermann took charge in August, but their season will be defined by the outcome of t(...)

 Connacht’s Tom Farrell is stopped in his tracks by  Jeremy Thrush and Mark Atkinson of Gloucester. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Connacht 28 Gloucester 33 Heartbreak for Connacht, again. Nemesis Gloucester recorded a fifth win over Connacht, and once again dashed west of Irelan(...)

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