Neil Back

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England winger Joe Cokanasiga  is tackled by USA prop David Ainuu as he runs in to score a try during Rugby World Cup Pool C at the Kobe Misaki Stadium. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

The hardest yards at the Rugby World Cup come in midweek, when the big dogs bark and the yappy ones get chomped. How do you cover a game where everyon(...)

Jamie Heaslip lifts the Heineken Cup after the win over Leicester at Murrayfield in May 2009. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Jamie Heaslip will walk on the pitch before Leinster v Saracens. “Mick Dawson told me this morning they are at just south of 50,000.” Imagine they b(...)

Ireland’s Dan Leavy, James Ryan, Kieran Marmion, Bundee Aki, Conor Murray, Andrew Porter, Jordi Murphy and Tadhg Furlong celebrate winning the Grand Slam at Twickenham. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

“Not bad for a ’scummy nation’, eh Eddie?” That’s the headline on the front page of today’s Sunday Times sports section after England manager Eddie J(...)

Ireland celebrate at the full-time whistle  after defeating England  at Twickenham Stadium on February 27, 2010. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Twickenham. The worst place to lose, but the best place to win. Come the full-time whistle this afternoon the ground will either be reverberating to S(...)

 Sam Underhill sprints carrying a weight during an England training session held at Pennyhill Park. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

As a contrast to England’s repeated failure to find a successor at openside flanker to Neil Back one has only to look at how New Zealand coped with Ri(...)

Geordan Murphy: “We let ourselves down on the big stage. We were bullied. We have an opportunity on Sunday to circle the wagons. Let’s see how we get on.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Matt O’Connor is as good a place as any to begin our catch up with Geordan Murphy. The man who shaped his latter playing days and present coaching ph(...)

The successful Lions squad following the third Test win over Australia in Sydney in 2013. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Given the recent conclusion of the Six Nations Championship in a Lions touring year, it is an obvious exercise to establish what correlation, if any, (...)

 Ireland’s  Tadhg Furlong attempts to block down a kick from Rhys Webb of Wales at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Post-match review, pre-game analysis and sandwiched in between are training sessions where theoretical and aspirational meets practical. It’s about(...)

 Danny Care  scores England’s  seventh try in the whopping 40-point victory over outclassed Scotland at Twickenham. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty

England 61 Scotland 21 England’s oppressive rugby hymn reverberated around the ancient ground as Scotland desperately sought a manly route away from (...)

Munster players contemplate their second Heineken Cup final defeat in three seasons as Leicester’s Neil Back celebrates at the end of the 2002 final at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Inpho

Two titans collide again. Were Munster to look across the water for a mirror image of themselves it would probably be Leicester, and vice versa. These(...)

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