Owen Doyle

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Ireland’s Caelan Doris in action against Scotland in the  Autumn Nations Cup at the Aviva Stadium on December 5th, 2020. The 22-year-old is not expected to return to the squad for the foreseeable future due to a head injury. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

It’s a rest weekend in the Six Nations, so I thought I’d open a time capsule. It’s November 1978. Wales are just moments away from a famous victory a(...)

Scotland’s Zander Fagerson reacts after being sent off by referee Matt Carley during the Six Nations game against Wales at Murrayfield. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ireland went close, but did they really? While Andy Farrell described the match as ‘one that got away’, I’m not so sure. To support his view, James Lo(...)

Referee Wayne Barnes shows Ireland flanker Peter O’Mahony a red card during the Six nations game against Wales at the Principality Stadium  in Cardiff. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Jotting down a few words on Saturday evening, I noted how enjoyable and exciting the rugby had been. By 5pm on Sunday all had changed, utterly. Cardi(...)

Dan Du Preez of Sale Sharks during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Sale and Northampton Saints at AJ Bell Stadium  in Salford, England.  Photograph: Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

So, we will have a Six Nations after all. Despite some worrying weeks, it now has the green light and will kick off bang on time. The conclusion, on(...)

Ireland v Georgia: The scrums were shambolic and referee Mathieu Raynal penalised incessantly, without ever changing player behaviour.  Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

The Aviva Stadium saw a poor, grim performance by Ireland, way, way below their international Tier One status. Very hard to watch. Georgia can be more(...)

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell speaks to his players at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Lineout and maul Once an almost guaranteed source of possession and launch plays, and even – if not directly – of tries, Ireland’s lineout and catch(...)

Tempers flare between Ireland and Wales players during the Autumn Nations Cup clash at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Alun Wyn Jones had demanded a Welsh win and his team were fully “up” for their visit to Dublin on Friday evening. The passionate singing of Land of (...)

France’s Anthony Bouthier knocks on the ball as Ireland’s  Hugo Keenan looks to catch it during the Six Nations match at the Stade de France. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Paris – the match is in its 18th minute, Ireland are pounding the French line in the familiar pick and drive version of the Eton Wall Game. Caelan Dor(...)

CJ Stander wins a penalty for Ireland in their Six Nations win over Wales. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Necessity being the mother of invention, for the first time ever rugby has been forced to adopt its oft-mooted and much debated global calendar albeit(...)

The red card for Manu Tuilagi was indisputably correct, despite Eddie Jones’ “absolute rubbish” protests. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Sadly, and wisely, there was no game for Ireland in Rome. But the fare on offer in Twickenham would have better suited the Coliseum. Too often England(...)

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