Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton dejected after defeat in Cardiff. ‘The frustrations are real. You can see it on senior players’ faces.’ Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Doubt has forever been the nemesis of confidence. Steve Hansen’s comment from November came into my mind last Saturday in Cardiff. Steve was very ser(...)

Joe Schmidt:   Ireland and Michael Cheika’s Australia  clash in the Aviva Stadium at 5.30pm on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Same? Well, same, but different. Joe and Cheiks. How best to describe, never mind compare, them? Ask around. Ruthless, lethally so. One more bla(...)

Ireland team manager Mick Kearney. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

This November series is Mick Kearney’s last stint as Irish manager. Having taken over from Paul McNaughton in January 2012, he has worked al(...)

EPCR director general Vincent Gaillard at the launch of the  European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup  at Dublin Convention Centre. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Vincent Gaillard, director general of the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), hopes to introduce independent doctors pitchside, armed with video (...)

Mick Kearney is to leave his role as Ireland team manager after the upcoming November Tests. Photograph: Inpho

Mick Kearney will step down from his role as team manager after Ireland’s November Test series, with Paul Dean set to replace him. Kearney took over (...)

Clermont Auvergne training at Twickenham ahead of their European Champions Cup final against Toulon. They are hoping for their first European Cup victory. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Ultimately, the rugby won out, or at any rate the occasions did. The semi-finals may have been taut arm wrestles, but the sight of the Clermont player(...)

Internal wrangling could see the appointment of a new independent EPCR chairman delayed by a firther five months. (Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie)

European rugby bosses have confirmed internal wrangling could delay the appointment of a figurehead chairman for the revamped continental game by five(...)

 Munster’s Peter O’Mahony, Ulster’s Rory Best and Leinster’s Jamie Heaslip at the launch of the new European competitions   at the Convention Centre, Dublin. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho/PA

Thankfully, the glories of the previous 19 years of the Heineken Cup have not been completely cast adrift, and as the highlights reel of the tourname(...)

Munster’s Peter O’Mahony and Leinster’s Jamie Heaslip take a look at the new European Rugby Champions Cup during the launch at the Convention Centre in Dublin. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) staged what approximates to another ‘soft launch’, at least for the Guinness Pro12 clubs, of the European Rugb(...)

 Andy Irvine: regarded as a contender for the role of EPCR independent chairman or president. Photograph: Getty Images

Five weeks away from the opening round of the inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup, the newly-assembled tournament organisers European Professional(...)

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