Mal O Kelly

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 Felipe Contepomi, (centre) celebrates with  Denis Hickie (left) and Will Green after Leinster’s  victory over Toulouse in the  Heineken Cup quarter-final at  Stade Municipal  in Toulouse in April 2006. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Heineken Cup quarter-final, Toulouse 35-41 Leinster, Municipal Stadium, Toulouse – April 2006 Denis Hickie versus Vincent Clerc, the ultimate sprinte(...)

Ireland’s James Ryan in action during the Six Nations  match against France at Stade de France. Photograph: Regis Duvignau/Reuters

The boy who would be king rises up in Paris. Recently, in conversation with a former Ireland international, we naively compared James Ryan to Paul O’(...)

Leinster’s Seán Cronin on his way to scoring a try during the Guinness Pro 14 match against Cardiff Blues at the RDS. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Leinster 37 Cardiff Blues 9 All cracks get papered over by the ruthless finish. When Ross Byrne, after an unconvincing night until it really mattered(...)

Ireland’s Joey Carbery gets in some kicking practice at the Red Bull Arena, New Jersey. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

US Eagles v Ireland, Red Bull Arena, Saturday, 10pm (Irish time) – live Eir Sport Spoken like a true disciple, Rhys Ruddock delivered the gospel acco(...)

Felipe Contepomi celebrates with team mates Denis Hickie (left) and Will Green after their victory in Toulouse in the Heineken Cup quarter-final in 2006. ‘There were a lot of similarities between that game and Leinster’s loss to Clermont.’ Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

History does not always repeat itself but it has a lovely habit of rhyming. Watching Leinster backs tear out of their 22 in Lyon I was instantly remin(...)

Ireland’s Gordon D’Arcy supported by Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell during the 2011 Rugby World Cup match against USA. Photo: Bill Stickland/Inpho

“On our team we put a huge premium on body language and if your body language is bad you will never get in the game. Ever. I don’t care how good you a(...)

Anthony Foley hands off a tackle from Iain Balshaw at Twickenham in 2004. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Anthony Foley and a couple of other names we all know well were responsible for creating the Munster culture. These men were responsible for building(...)

The Wallace brothers, Paul, David and Richard, ahead of the Cross Atlantic Way Rugby Legends Cycle

At some point last Sunday on Slea Head that perennial question entered my head: is it Dingle, An Daingean or Daingean Uí Chúis? And where we will fina(...)

Joe Schmidt with Philippe Saint-André and Serge Blanco ahead of Ireland’s clash with France at the World Cup. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

French rugby: exiled from artistry by greed or a coach floundering out of his depth? According to Philippe Saint-André, until the national team become(...)

Ian Madigan is 26 now and, while his skill-set has never been in doubt,  he just needs to play consistently at Number 10.

This column being a review of 2015, it proved a year when Ian Madigan spent most of that time wedged between a rock and a hard place. I felt he coped(...)

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