Flyhalf Stephen Donald of the All Blacks kicks a penalty in 2011  Rugby World Cup Final  between France and New Zealand in Auckland. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty

Stephen Donald kicked the winning penalty that secured New Zealand an 8-7 victory over France in the 2011 World Cup final on home soil, bringing to an(...)

 Johnny Sexton is engulfed by his teammates after scoring the winning  drop goal in Paris. Photograph:  Getty Images

The clock has passed the 77 minute mark. Ireland trail France by 13-12 and their goose looks cooked. Anthony Belleau is lining up a kickable penalty a(...)

“What the Lions are doing is very much a Saracens approach, to put a brand on it, and Saracens don’t get tipped over very often.”

Not exactly the forgotten man, Robbie Deans could so easily be in and around Auckland this weekend. The sliding doors of fate connived otherwise. Inst(...)

 Darren Sweetnam scores a try to seal Munster’s place in the last four of the Champions Cup. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Munster 41 Toulouse 16 This wasn’t perfect but in so many ways it was vintage Munster on another vintage Thomond Park occasion. So while they may hav(...)

Munster’s CJ Stander will be expected to run at Toulouse in Thomond Park on Saturday. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS CUP RUGBY Munster v Toulouse  Kick off: 5.45pm Venue: Thomond Park On TV: Live on Sky Sports 2 When Ronan O’Gara first en(...)

Toulouse have struggled to recapture former glories and are currently outside the top six for qualification for next season’s Champions Cup. Photograph:  Nicolas Tucat/AFP/Getty Images

Stade Toulousain! The club is synonymous with winning and flair. No team has won more French Championships or European Cups. They also did so with a c(...)

Munster’s Conor Murray tackles Toulouse’s Luke McAllister in the 2014 Heineken Cup quarter-final in Thomond Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

“All Blacks’ Luke McAlister’s ex-wife discusses Aaron Smith having sex.” As you do. Sometimes you don’t know what to believe in the British mid-brows(...)

Guy Noves could be building a  squad capable of competing with the best. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Prospects: They have to travel to London and Dublin, which makes the prospect of them winning the championship considerably longer odds against. The h(...)

Toulouse players celebrate as referee Wayne Barnes blows the full-time whistle in the Champions Cup game against Connacht at Stade Ernest-Wallon. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Toulouse 19 Connacht 10 Brave, as ever, but no cigar. Regrets, Connacht will have many, after coming within a drop goal or penalty of reaching the qu(...)

Irish captain Willie Anderson faces up to New Zealand captain Wayne Shelford as the All Blacks perform ‘The Haka’. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ringa pakia. The placebo effect can be a powerful psychological weapon. How should Ireland respond to a people who believe they are possessed by immo(...)

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