Robbie Henshaw is one of four Leinster players to be nominated for the EPCR European Player of the Year 2021 award. File photograph: Inpho

Four Leinster players have made the list of 15 nominees for the EPCR European Player of the Year 2021 award. Irish internationals Tadhg Furlong, Robb(...)

Clermont Auvergne fullback Kotaro Matsushima breaks clear to score his second try during the Heineken Champions Cup  match against the  Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

ASM Clermont Auvergne v Munster, Stade Marcel-Michelin, Saturday, 5.30pm Irish time – Live on BT Sport If Munster’s draw looked difficult before a ba(...)

Exeter Chiefs are the defending European champions. Photograph: Inpho

Against the most disconcerting backdrop the sport has ever known, the Heineken Champions Cup is back with a new, one-off, complex format which is both(...)

Makazole Mapimpi dives to score South Africa’s third try in their win ovre Japan. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty

Japan 3 South Africa 26 After all the shocks and surprises, typhoons and earthquakes, The Rugby World Cup has its heavyweight semi-finals. South Afri(...)

Japan winger Kotaro Matsushima dives to score against Scotland. Photograph: William West/Getty/AFP

IRFU statement an unprecedented turn of events The “IRFU statement re false claims published in Sunday Times” was an unprecedented turn of events, ce(...)

Japan’s Kenki Fukuoka   touches down to score their fourth try against Scotland. Photograph:   Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

By half-time in Yokohama you couldn’t but rethink your choice of couch attire for what was the final game in Pool A, possibly even deciding to swap yo(...)

Japan’s wing Kenki Fukuoka scores a try during the  Rugby World Cup Pool A match against  Scotland at the International Stadium in Yokohama. Photograph:  Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

Japan 28 Scotland 21 Some days a country is unbeatable. Ireland against England under Croke Park’s glare in 2007. New Zealand the week after any All (...)

Bundee Aki in training ahead of Ireland’s clash with Samoa next Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Storm clouds gathering again. Ultimately the severe weather alert for the opening weekend proved unfounded, with the New Zealand-South Africa game una(...)

Tim Nanai-Williams of Samoa receives treatment during the defeat to Japan. Photograph:  Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Samoa coach Steve Jackson pulled no punches when it came to the refereeing performance of Jaco Peyper following Japan’s 38-19 victory at Toyota City s(...)

Japan’s Kotaro Matsushima saw his side’s crucial fourth try against Samoa. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty

The clock had gone red at the City of Toyota Stadium when Samoa - trailing 31-19 - were penalised in the shadow of their own posts. Should they (...)

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