Stuart Barnes

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Robbie henshaw, Iain Henderson and Jonathan Joseph react after losing to the Highlanders. Photograph: Reuters

Warren Gatland lamented the Lions’ missed opportunity, having been in control of the game before “we shot ourselves in the foot” with what he said wer(...)

Head coach  Rassie Erasmus: “I would like players to have the feeling that we are committed because we don’t want to disappoint one another.”  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

As the figurehead of the Munster organisation this season, Rassie Erasmus has handled himself with dignity and class at all times, hardly putting a f(...)

The late Anthony Foley: “He was big in every way – a big personality, a big sense of humour, generous to a fault.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

It was like going to the funeral of someone you’ve never met, maybe a parent of a friend. You listen to the warmest and funniest of tributes and get a(...)

New Zealand’s fullback Ben Smith  passes to his captain Richie McCaw during World Cup final against Australia at Twickenham. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Did you spot all those tricolours in Twickenham? The ultimate triumph of hope over Argentina. In the end our people had to make do with being neutral (...)

Ireland supporters feel the strain during the World Cup Pool D game against Italy at the Olympic Stadium. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Well, aren’t we the neighbourly lot altogether? All this talk about the tournament losing its spark with England’s exit on Saturday night was hard to (...)

Canada’s flanker John Moonlight: “Ill met by Moonlight,” Barnes cracked. The guffaws from Conor McNamara and Liam Toland in the commentary box told us it was funny. So did Google, once we’d established that Barnes was referencing a 1950s Dirk Bogarde war movie from a non-fiction book by W Stanley Moss. You get a different level of badinage with the rugby lads.

Saturday lunchtime and the rugby World Cup is happening, people. Settle down at the back and start concentrating. And here’s news for you - if you (...)

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 01:  Conor Murray of Ireland clears the ball upfield under pressure from George Kruis of England during the RBS Six Nations match between Ireland and England at the Aviva Stadium on March 1, 2015 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The debate continues, if not exactly rages, as to whether Ireland’s style of play will be good enough to win a World Cup. This in turn begs another qu(...)

Munster’s Alan Quinlan wrestles with Leicester’s  Neil Back during the 2002 Heineken Cup final at the  Millennium Stadium in  Cardiff. Photo:  David Rogers/Getty Image

Rugby can sometimes contrive the Hollywood ending. And so it is the next time Neil Back and Peter Stringer line out, they may be chumming up to each (...)

Jared Payne: “I’m pretty passionate about it, seeing the environment Ireland have created over the last three years. It is something I want to be a part of.” Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Jared Payne story need not temper optimism.That was put to Joe Schmidt yesterday: has his optimism been tempered by so many injuries and the Spri(...)

Ruan Pienaar will undergo a fitness test in Dublin next week ahead of South Africa’s opening game of their European tour against Ireland. photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Some good news for Leinster in yesterday’s 36-man Springbok squad for the European tour that begins in Dublin on November 8th as Heyneke Meyer has (...)

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