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(...)

Clermont scrumhalf Morgan Parra has been recalled to the French squad.  Photograph: Thierry Zoccolan/AFP/Getty Images

France have recalled scrumhalf Morgan Parra with head coach Jacques Brunel also naming six uncapped players in a 32-man squad for the Six Nations, whi(...)

Mathieu Bastareaud has been banned for three weeks for verbal abuse and will miss France’s opening Six Nations match against Ireland in Paris. Photograph: Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images

Toulon centre Mathieu Bastareaud is set to miss France’s opening Six Nations clash with Ireland in Paris after receiving a three-week ban for verbally(...)

Toulon’s president Mourad Boudjellal: “I’m not homophobic either, but I have called someone a faggot.” Photograph:  Getty Images

Toulon’s controversial owner Mourad Boudjellal could face disciplinary action from the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) after a number of off-c(...)

Mathieu Bastareaud was caught calling an opponent a “f***ing faggot” during Toulon’s win over Treviso.

The moral high ground has long been a dangerous place to call home. Rugby union, particularly in the amateur era, used to pitch its tent there regular(...)

 Toulon’s French centre Mathieu Bastareaud in action against Benetton during Sunday’s Champions Cup game. Photograph: Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images

French centre Mathieu Bastareaud and England backrow James Haskell have both been cited after incidents in last weekend’s Champions Cup that could see(...)

Taulupe Faletau’s knee ligament injury has ruled him out of Wales’ Six Nations campaign. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Wales will be without two of their Lions Test back-rowers for the Six Nations after the Bath No8, Taulupe Faletau, joined Sam Warburton on the injury (...)

Bundee Aki at the Ireland rugby squad training centre at Carton House, Co Kildare. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

During my apprenticeship, I was told by Ronan O’Gara to think three or four phases ahead after any set piece attack. Playing international rugby nowad(...)

Johnny Sexton played the full 80 minutes as Ireland stopped England from securing the Grand Slam. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

It cannot be coincidence. Trawl back through Ireland matches since Johnny Sexton was knocked out by Mathieu Bastareaud during the 2014 Six Nations tit(...)

Maro Itoje grabs Johnny Sexton’s jersey during the Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Kilcoyne/Reuters

It cannot be coincidence. Johnny Sexton, if we trawl back through Ireland matches since he was knocked out by Mathieu Bastareaud in 201(...)

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