The tallest of the academy secondrows is Waterford-born Thomas Ahern at 6ft 9in. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

It’s a little under nine years ago that Leinster Rugby embarked on a project called ‘Route 6’6”’ to try and entice young men between the ages of 17 an(...)

The Ireland rugby squad during their  open training session in  the Sportsgrounds, Galway. Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Johnny Sexton, who celebrated his 34th birthday on Thursday, will be available if required for Ireland’s opening Rugby World Cup warm-up match against(...)

Billy Holland will make his 200th Munster appearance against Connacht. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Billy Holland will chalk up his 200th appearance for Munster this weekend in Galway but it took the toss of a coin – or several tosses as it turned ou(...)

 John Kelly celebrates his try for Munster during the “Miracle Match”, where the province needed to win by exactly four tries and 27 points against Gloucester, which they succeeded in doing so.   Photograph: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Looking back now, it perhaps doesn’t seem quite so fanciful. Facing into the final round of pool games, Munster had to beat Gloucester and also by fou(...)

 Munster’s Peter O’Mahony  during their defeat to Racing 92. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The RDS is the unlikely rugby cathedral where Munster must seek redemption. A redemption desperately required after the Champions Cup semi-final again(...)

Billy Holland: will be making his 14th European start in a row when he lines up against Racing 92 in Bordeaux. Photograh: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

If at first you don’t succeed and all that. Time was when Billy Holland could scarcely get a look in, what with some fella called O’Connell on the sce(...)

The Ireland team celebrate winning the Grand Slam at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Consulting, farming, coaching and media darlings aplenty, here are the 2009 Grand Slammers revisited. The campaign got off to a stunning start with J(...)

Ireland players  celebrate Jacob Stockdale’s second try against Wales. Ireland’s backline are significantly taller and heavier than their 2009 counterparts on the team which won the Grand Slam.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpoh

Is rugby becoming a younger man’s game, as well as a bigger man’s game? The question seems particularly apt on the day Jamie Heaslip confirmed his pre(...)

Munster lock Billy Holland : ““I suppose the more you play, the fitter you get, the more you’re in tune with the team and the more you play the easier it gets.” Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Billy Holland has been bearing a heavy load recently. He has already started all 13 of Munster’s games this season and, just shy of racking up 1,000 m(...)

Billy Holland: “I grew up with my father being involved with Munster, I love Munster and  Irish rugby and everything it represents.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Who doesn’t love a good family story on Test week? Particularly about a son finally following in his father’s controversial footsteps. The Hollands a(...)

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