Ireland’s players form a guard of honour for New Zealand at the end of the match. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Warning to offshore Kiwis: return home predicting a New Zealand loss at your peril. Definitely don’t do it on national television. The grief! Before(...)

Ben Whitehouse was in the eye of the storm during Saturday’s Guinness Pro14   clash between Leinster and Munster at Aviva Stadium.  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ben Whitehouse, an appreciation Irish referees would leap into a Las Vegas octagon over Leinster versus Munster but it’s a rite of passage. The Welsh(...)

Australia’s Adam Ashley Cooper, Scott Fardy, Scott Sio, Israel Folau and Michael Hooper after the press conference. Photograph: Henry Browne/Reuters

Michael Cheika insists Australia have ignored messages of goodwill hailing their passage into the World Cup final as they refuse to target anything ot(...)

David Campese breaks for Australia during the 1991 Rugby World Cup semi-final. Australia beat New Zealand 16-6. Photograph: Getty

Next Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand should prove a fitting climax for what has been - bar home nation disappointme(...)

Australia players celebrate at full time of their 2003 Rugby World Cup semi-final win over New Zealand. Photograph: Getty

The 2003 World Cup progressed in such a way the final was always destined to be contested by the cream of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, wi(...)

Australia beat Namibia 142-0 in the pool stages of the 2003 World Cup, a record winning margin. Photograph: Getty

Ah, poor old Namibia. Veterans of four World Cups but without a win in 15 attempts, the Welwitschias are very much the tournament’s whipping boys. Nam(...)

Munster’s Andrew Smith is tackled by Clermont Auvergne’s Noa Nakaitaci in the Champions Cup. The Australian believes a home semi-final in the Pro12 “could really set up” Munster’s year. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Andrew Smith has had a fairly low-key, understated time of it in his one-year sojourn to Munster. Yet, allowing for a 10-week absence from mid-Decembe(...)

 Jamie Roberts with Racing Metro team-mate   Jonathan Sexton during a training session in Toulouse. Photograph: Remy Gabalda/AFP/Getty Images

On a rainy day in Paris an excuse for a long lunch is ready made. “The sun might not come out again today,” Jamie Roberts says cheerfully as he glance(...)