La Rochelle’s South African centre Paul Jordaan  breaks a Harlequins’ tackle during the victory over the English club at Twickenham Stoop Stadium in London. Photograph: Olly Greenwood/AFP/Getty

On the opening weekend that was, there was something old, something new, and something blue. Of all the statements of intent, none was more ominous th(...)

Saracens once again look like being the team to beat this year. Photo: Getty Images

Pool 1: Harlequins, La Rochelle, Ulster, Wasps After three pool exits in a row (losing 10 of 18 matches) Ulster should be better equipped this season(...)

Conor O’Shea, head coach of Italian rugby team during a training session in Rome. Photograph: Silvia Lore/ NurPhoto via Getty Images

In the immediate aftermath of Ireland’s historic win over the All Blacks in Chicago last Saturday, Conor O’Shea was bombarded with text messages: “He(...)

Richie McCaw, the All Black captain, who will make his record breaking 134th appearance for the All Blacks with coach Steve Hansen at Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa. Photograph: Getty Images

Richie McCaw has put the historic achievement of breaking the All Blacks appearances record out of his mind as he focuses on leading New Zealand to vi(...)

Bundee Aki of the Chiefs in action against the Brumbies in Canberra. Photograph: Stefan Postles/Getty Images

The ACT Brumbies held off a Waikato Chiefs fightback to bring an end to the New Zealanders’ quest for a third straight Super Rugby title with a 32-30 (...)

Castres’ outhalf Remi Tales will start against the All Blacks.

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has taken a gamble in his team selection for Saturday’s clash with the All Blacks, picking the inexperienced outhalf(...)

 Piri Weepu of the All Blacks leads the Haka before the third Test match against France in June at Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth in New Zealand. Photograph:  Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

New Zealand coach Steve Hansen continued his gradual overhaul of the world champion All Blacks by yesterday dropping experienced scrumhalf Piri Weepu (...)