Rocky Elsom

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Leinster’s Rocky Elsom bursts through the Leicester  defence during the 19-16 win in the 2009 Heineken Cup final. Photograph: Getty Images

Rocky Elsom’s biographer wastes no time entering the realm of hagiography. “Rocky is like a modern day renaissance man, a Leonardo da Vinci in studs,(...)

Leinster’s Gordon D’Arcy celebrates his try as Johnny Sexton and Munster’s Ronan O’Gara exchange words in the Heineken Cup semi-final in 2009. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

When Irish rugby historians search for the biggest shift in the balance of power at provincial level they need look no further than May 2nd, 2009, and(...)

Ulster’s Marcell Coetzee is presented with the man of the match award by Barney McCann after the Pro14 win over Munster. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Whenever the provinces sign ‘foreign’ or to use another term ‘non Irish qualified’ (NIQ) players there is occasionally a period of uncertainty before (...)

Isa Nacewa slips the tackle from Richard Wigglesworth of Saracens during the Champions Cup quarter-final at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

When it comes to naming Leinster’s best overseas signing, it says everything about Isa Nacewa’s impact at his adopted home that there really is no deb(...)

Fear of further failure fuelled Leinster’s Heineken Cup victory over Leicester in 2009. File photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leinster never needed to lose a final to learn how to win a final. There had been enough suffering by the time we got to Murrayfield in 2009. Leo Cul(...)

Leinster’s Scott Fardy dives for the line to score a try during the Champions Cup semi-final against Scarlets at the  Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Rob Kearney Transferred Irish form back into the blue jersey with hard running – 11 carries for 91 metres – and pressure under high balls. Dodgy atte(...)

Ulster’s John Cooney in action against Ospreys – injuries saw the scrumhalf moved to outhalf during the game. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

When Ulster had finished the unsettling humiliation of their coach in 2012 the Guardian newspaper ran a headline. “Brian McLaughlin shows success is s(...)

Scott Fardy: “You want to try to win trophies; you shouldn’t be playing if you don’t want to do that.” Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Scott Fardy exudes a singular focus that is trained squarely on preparing for Saturday’s Champions Cup semi-final against the Scarlets at the Aviva St(...)

Scott Fardy: “I wanted to come overseas. I wanted to experience playing European rugby. Ideally . .  with a club playing at the business end.”  Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Rocky Elsom came, played the drums, won the Heineken Cup and left. As legacies go, that of the Australian flanker was short, loud and memorable. Fo(...)

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen at the RDS for Friday night’s Pro12 semi-final defeat. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

In the wake of this disastrous and shuddering halt to Leinster’s promising season, Leo Cullen, unsolicited by the media, compared his Leinster to the (...)

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