Sam Cane

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Leo Cullen: “It was a tough period to get through,” said the 41-year-old. “It’s not something I’ll ever forget.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leo Cullen laughs out loud as the darkest moment of a still fledgling coaching career gets reflected in a positive light. Four awfully long years ago(...)

 The England scrum is pushed back during the World Cup final  in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Who saw that coming? Not me, for starters. The final produced a match that couldn’t really have been anticipated. England never got going, weren’t al(...)

England’s Maro Itoje and Tom Curry celebrate their victory oner the All Blacks. Photgraph: David Davies/PA

Rugby World Cup semi-final: England 19 New Zealand 7 The All Blacks have been great champions, but their time is up. The rugby world didn’t quite sha(...)

Ireland’s  Conor Murray  is tackled by New Zealand flanker Sam Cane. “Underhill and Curry have been pretty impressive,” said Cane. “They’ve both got a huge appetite for hard work, very good skill sets.” Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Gettty

It would probably only deepen the wounds from last Saturday’s quarter-final in Tokyo Stadium were England to dethrone New Zealand in next Saturday’s p(...)

Ireland give New Zealand a guard of honour in Tokyo. Photograph: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty

And that’s all she wrote. Ireland’s 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign is over, after they were brutally picked apart by a ruthless All Blacks side in Toky(...)

Johnny Sexton walks out for the captain’s run ahead of Ireland’s Rugby World Cup quarter-final date with the All Blacks. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA

Spiky, bullish, funny and calm. If Johnny Sexton can repeat the masterly performance of this lone ranger Captain’s Run in Chofu - way out in deep west(...)

 Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga of the All Blacks run through drills during a  training session at Tatsuminomori Seaside Park  in Tokyo. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

15 Beauden Barrett (Hurricanes) Age: 28 Height: 6’2” Weight: 91kg (14st, 5lbs) Caps: 80 The world’s best outhalf is now doing a pretty good job from f(...)

The Ireland and New Zealand encounters define the Joe Schmidt era.

Joe Schmidt’s decade in Ireland has yielded unprecedented success ever since Johnny Sexton orchestrated Leinster’s miracle revival against Northampton(...)

Jordie Barrett starts at outhalf for the All Blacks on Sunday. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Utility back Jordie Barrett will make his first appearance at outhalf for the All Blacks against Namibia in their Pool B clash in Tokyo on Sunday, whi(...)

New Zealand fullback Beauden Barrett  makes a break during the Rugby World Cup Group B game between New Zealand and South Africa at the International Stadium in Yokohama. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

New Zealand 23 South Africa 13 The significance of Ireland’s victory over Scotland on Sunday was heightened by the extraordinary spectacle the day be(...)

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