Ronan O’Gara and Paul O’Connell are both set to leave their current coaching roles in New Zealand and France respectively. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ronan O’Gara and Paul O’Connell are to leave their current coaching positions. Midi Olympique are reporting O’Gara’s short term appointment as France (...)

Referee Nigel Owens speaks to French players Guilhem Guirado and Arthur Iturria in Twickenham. Photograph: EPA

Less leading to more mistakes from officials A pre-tournament directive from World Rugby to reduce the role of the TMO has led to more errors being m(...)

France flyhalf Anthony Belleau in action against South Africa in November. Belleau is among the youngsters in the squad that could pose a threat in the Six Nations. Photograph:  Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images

“I think the French are in a mess,” observed Ronan O’Gara as bluntly as ever at his first press conference in his new guise as the Crusaders back coac(...)

France warm up for the game against Canada. “The World Cup is really something special in France.  It’s a competition that works well with the French for some reason.” Photo: Darren Staples/Reuters

And so it has come to pass pretty much exactly as expected. France were long ago cast as 18/1 outsiders, incapable of finishing in the top half of the(...)

Tonga celebrate after their 19-14 win over France in the 2011 World Cup. Photograph: Getty

The biggest shocks landed at the Rugby World Cup have invariably come from the Pacific Island nations, whose athleticism and physicality has sometimes(...)

Toulon celebrate winning the European Champions Cup after beating Clermont Auvergne at Twickenham on Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

So Toulon are entitled to be labelled the European Cup’s greatest ever team? For a club which only competed in one Heineken Cup prior to its current t(...)

Robert Kitson names 11 provincial players in his all-time European Cup best XV, including former Munster number eight Anthony Foley. Photograph: Getty

Time-travelling is always a temptation at this time of year. This week sees the 20th showpiece final in European club rugby’s eventful history and, in(...)

Owen Farrell during a Saracens training session in St Albans ahead of their European Champions Cup clash against Clermont Auvergne. The outhalf is back in the squad after three months out. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Saracens coach Mark McCall has voiced his admiration for French heavyweights Clermont Auvergne ahead of Saturday’s European Champions Cup semi-final s(...)

Munster’s Peter O’Mahony in a maul against Clermont Auvergne at Thomond Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

You don’t know how strong you are until strength is all you have left. After losing at the Stoop on Saturday, Leinster will have to dig deep tomorrow,(...)

Munster’s Paul’Connell will have his own hands full as his side take on Clermont Auvergne at Thomond Park in the Champions Cup. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

To think that we could have missed out on this. The next two weekends of the traditional back-to-back pre-Christmas games could define European Cha(...)

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