Rocky Elsom

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Lest the IRFU forget, Leinster would never have won their first Champions Cup without Isa Nacewa, Chris Whitaker, Stan Wright and Rocky Elsom. Photograph: Dave Winter/Inpho

In the fallout from Sunday’s sobering events in La Rochelle we can’t forget Leinster’s excellent display in the laquarter-final win away to Exeter. To(...)

Leinster’s Ross Byrne dejected after their 32-23 loss to La Rochelle in the Heineken Champions Cup semi-final at Stade Marcel Deflandre on Sunday. Photograph: Manuel Blondeau/Inpho

So, no five-star Heineken Champions Cup final after all, rather a sixth all-French final after La Rochelle thoroughly eclipsed Leinster to earn a deci(...)

Scott Fardy: played 76 times over four seasons for Leinster. “Fards is a competitive animal, he doesn’t like losing,” says Guy Easterby. “He’s added so much in terms of mindset and not taking a backward step.” Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

CJ Stander and Scott Fardy will ride off into the sunset with their legacies assured; Marcel Coetzee will leave some big shoes to fill at Ulster and t(...)

Johnny  Sexton celebrates scoring a  try during the 2011 final against Northampton at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Whatever way you look at it, that was a special win, even by Leinster’s standards. To down the reigning European and English champions after falling 1(...)

Munster head coach Johann van Graan and senior coach Stephen Larkham. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

I do not like Munster. This is my politically correct opinion. Always liked the people, love the south west coast, but not the club. The only reason (...)

Munster’s Ben Healy converts a penalty to win the Guinness Pro 14 game against the Scarlets at  Parc y Scarlets. Photograph: Ryan Hiscott/Inpho

The Munster player’s positive test need not be viewed in a negative light. Training is cancelled so all the plans the coach wanted to put in place thi(...)

Rob Kearney, Brad Thorn and Isa Nacewa celebrate after beating Ulster in the 2012 Heineken Cup Final at Twickenham. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

One of the standout features of this dismembered rugby season was when Damian de Allende and RG Snyman appeared in Munster colours. De Allende, a 28(...)

Wales’ scrumhalf  Mike Phillips celebrates as a dejected Paul O’Connell, Mike Ross and Cian Healy of Ireland look on at the final whistle of the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarter-final. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Eventually you make a pact with yourself. Enough of these dazed walks up Jones’ Road as the light declines. Sam Maguire winters in Kerry or Ulster. I(...)

“In the times I’ve been there, and I’ve been there many times, that’s always been the way the locals have treated me.” Photo: William West/AFP/Getty Image

With both of his parents coming from north Lebanon, Michael Cheika has always been proud of his roots and, as a Unicef ambassador for Lebanon in Austr(...)

Isa Nacewa and Jordi Murphy lift the European Champions Cup trophy for Leinster in 2018, continuing a remarkable run of success for the Irish province. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

About eight minutes into the 2014 final of what was then known as the Rabo Direct Pro12 between Leinster and Glasgow, Brian O’Driscoll’s farewell game(...)

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