Joe Schmidt:  “I think the great days have been the ones where the players have done something a little bit special, and you’ve seen players grow.”

Today really does mark the end of an era. The Joe Schmidt era at the Aviva Stadium. Previous eras have taken in a detour to Croke Park and the increas(...)

Lima Sopoaga kicks the ball during a Wasps training session in Coventry. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

The Wasps outhalf Lima Sopoaga believes the player drain from New Zealand to Europe will increase because the lure of the All Blacks jersey no longer (...)

Peter O’Mahony: “All the ones you have lost in Europe they all hurt for a long, long time.” Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Fear isn’t a pleasant emotion, but it’s also a powerful spur. Fear of defeat has often inspired Munster in the past, witness a record of eight home w(...)

New Zealand’s Malakai Fekitoa celebrates  with Anton Lienert-Brown and Israel Dagg after scoring a  try against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium to avenge their Chicago loss two weeks earlier. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

By this point a dozen years ago, the Lions tour was miserable. There was only a dead rubber to look forward to, and the Lions were way off the All Bla(...)

The Highlanders’ Waisake Naholo  celebrates scoring his side’s first try against the Lions.  Photograph:  David Davies/PA Wire.

Highlanders 23 British & Irish Lions 22 Another one that got away, and the taste of this defeat will feel especially bitter as the Lions had the (...)

 Sonny Bill Williams in action for the Blues, the Lions’ second opponents of the tour. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty

This summer’s British & Irish Lions tour has been widely acknowledged as arguably the toughest the tourists have ever embarked upon. Playing the (...)

New Zealand’s Malakai Fekitoa tackles Simon Zebo of Ireland high, resulting in a yellow card. Today’s hearing deemed the tackle worthy of a red card. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Disciplinary chiefs have admitted that Malakai Fekitoa should not have been on the field to score the winning try in New Zealand’s 21-9 victory over I(...)

New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Allowing for the knee injury which has ruled out Jerome Kaino, akin to Ireland, the All Blacks’ selection has fallen along anticipated lines. The main(...)

Sam Whitelock returns for the All Blacks on Saturday. Photograph: Inpho/Donall Farmer

First choice locks Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick have returned from injury and been named in a beefed-up All Blacks side to face Ireland in Dubli(...)

Israel Dagg breaks clear to score  a try for New Zealand  in their match against Italy  at Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Italy 10 New Zealand 68 New Zealand put last weekend’s defeat to Ireland to the back of their minds as they put Conor O’Shea’s Italy to the sword as(...)

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