Stuart Lancaster

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Stuart Lancaster watches Leinster’s training session at UCD on Monday. Photograph: Ben Brady/Inpho

Stuart Lancaster is very confident that the quartet of injured Leinster players who will link up with the Irish squad this week – Tadhg Furlong, James(...)

Toulouse’s Pita Ahki is spayed with champagne by team-mate and captain Antoine Dupont after the victory over La Rochelle in the Heineken Champions Cup Final at  Twickenham in May. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Heineken Champions Cup returns if not with its customary bang, then with a good deal more than a whimper as well, not least hereabouts. Not for th(...)

Rob Kearney after Ireland beat New Zealand in 2016. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland’s most decorated player of all time plays his final game of rugby this afternoon. Rob Kearney will hang up his boots once and for all after pl(...)

England head coach Eddie Jones following victory in the Autumn Nations Series match between England and South Africa at Twickenham  on Saturday. Photograph:  Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Eddie Jones spent Sunday morning holding one-on-one meetings with his players before sending them home with a spring in their step. He then met his co(...)

Ireland’s Jamison Gibson-Park produced his best display for the team against Japan. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

No doubt much will be made of the probable inclusion of three New Zealand-born players in the Ireland match-day squad to face the All Blacks next Satu(...)

Connacht senior coach Peter Wilkins fell out of love for the game for six years in his 20s after failing to make it as a player. Photograph:  Ryan Hiscott/Inpho

He’d dreamed of a career in professional rugby, both as a player and maybe then a coach. But the disappointment of realising that he wasn’t going to m(...)

Dan Sheehan’s ability with ball in hand has earned him a call up for the autumn internationals. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

There’ll be quibbles and hard-luck stories, there always are when an Irish squad is named, but given the hand that Andy Farrell and his coaches have b(...)

Jamison Gibson-Park would love to play for Ireland against his native New Zealand in the November Test window. Photograph: Ben Brady/Inpho

If you were to guess at the essential properties of the demeanour of Leinster and Ireland’s Jamison Gibson-Park after a 10-minute conversation, they w(...)

Johnny Sexton with Harry Byrne, whose injury profile means he remains on the outside looking in when it comes to the outhalf spot. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Johnny Sexton remains both the problem and the solution per se. If that sounds like fortune cookie wisdom it’s not meant to be, instead a statement th(...)

 Janko Swanepoel and his Bulls team-mates look dejected after the 31-3 defeat to Leinster at the Aviva Stadium. The game was more competitive than the final scoreline indicates. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

So far then, perhaps not so good. The arrival of the four South African franchises into the United Rugby Championship has proved a more humbling exerc(...)

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