Rocky Elsom (left) is tackled by George Chuter and Tom Croft of Leicester in the 2009 Heineken Cup final. The signing of Elsom has hugely important in the Irish province making the big breakthrough in claiming victory in Europe’s premier competition.   Photograph: Graham Stuart/Inpho

Back in the summer of 2008, Michael Cheika asked (more likely thumped the table and screamed) for an influx of quality overseas players. Leinst(...)

 Leinster’s Jimmy Gopperth kicks clear during their Heineken Cup quarter-final at the  Stade FŽlix Mayol, Toulon.  “They put a lot of pressure on our set-piece. We didn’t really get front-foot ball. Photograph: Inpho

In stark contrast to his valedictory farewell to international rugby, this was not how Brian O’Driscoll would have envisaged ending his associa(...)

President of reigning Heineken Cup champions Mourad  Boudjellal is of Algerian origin. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Toulon president Mourad Boudjellal has defended his decision to cancel a friendly with French second division sid(...)

Luke Fitzgerald in action against Castres in their first Heineken Cup Pool One game against Castres Olympique at the RDS. If Leinster end the French side’s year-long unbeaten home record at the Stade Pierre-Antoine on Sunday and Northampton lose in Swansea on Sunday, Leinster will qualify for the knock-out stages.

Now comes the meat of the season, with the decisive final two rounds of the Heineken Cup pool stages over the next two weeks a more than tasty appetis(...)

The Irish Times has learned that following the IRFU’s reduction of their original offer to extend his national contract, Jamie Heaslip is spending two days in France discussing terms.

Jamie Heaslip has become a serious flight risk from Leinster this summer with both Toulon and Montpellier circling.The Irish Times has learned that fo(...)

Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal celebrates their victory in last season’s Heineken Cup final  against Clermont. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

In the first signs of a crack within the Anglo-French club alliance, the Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal has declared that his club will play in next s(...)

Rory Kockott

A week ago last season’s beaten Heineken Cup finalists rested most of their key men with one eye on a return to European fare. Content enough to emerg(...)

Matt Giteau: One of Toulon’s standout signings made by owner Mourad Boudjellal. Photograph:James Crombie/Inpho

Clermont v Toulon . . . Even if the game is being played in Dublin, seen from France there is an unerring logic in these two clubs battling it (...)

Saracens’ Owen Farrell impressed for England in the Six Nations, but the petulance he also demonstrated at times could be his undoing against Jonny Wilkinson and co. Photograph: Tim Ireland/PA Wire.

The bookmakers are having none of this match. Scratch being the handicap bet, which is no handicap at all. Maybe they see age as a justifiable leve(...)

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