Marcell Coetzee: his  performance against Bath exemplified his quality and importance to Ulster.   Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Heineken Champions Cup Pool 3: Ulster v Clermont Auvergne  Kick-off: 7.45pm, Friday. Venue: Kingspan Stadium. On TV: Live on BT Sport (...)

Bundee Aki hugs Samoa’s Rey Lee-Lo after Ireland’s win in Fukuoka. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The one fly in Ireland’s ointment following Saturday’s commanding win over Samoa was the 29th minute sending-off of Bundee Aki. Derek Hegarty, a solic(...)

Ireland’s Jordan Larmour on his way to scoring a try against Samoa. Photograph: Jayne Russell/Inpho

Ireland 47 Samoa 5 Mission accomplished, and with a good deal less drama than might have been expected, not least when Bundee Aki’s 29th-minute red c(...)

South African referee Jaco Peyer gives a yellow card to Samoa’s flanker TJ Ioane  during the Pool A match between Japan and Samoa at the City of Toyota Stadium last Saturday. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images

The World Cup has become extremely serious everywhere else. Not down Fukuoka way. Tuipola Evan Charlton stood before a room of largely Irish journalis(...)

Scotland’s Stuart Hogg scores a try during the autumn international against Samoa  at BT Murrayfield. Photograph: Ian Rutherford/PA Wire

Scotland 44 Samoa 38 Scotland survived a second-half fightback to kick off their international season with a 44-38 win over Samoa at BT Murrayfield. (...)

British and Irish Lions’ CJ Stander is tackled during the win in Hamilton. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire.

Waikato Chiefs 6 British & Irish Lions 34 Another handsome Lions win. The midweekers finally emulated their Saturday squad mates with what was, f(...)

Connacht’s Bundee Aki celebrates as he leaves the field after the  team’s Pro12 final victory over Leinster at Murrayfield. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Unlike Pat Lam and the countless others who blazed a trail from New Zealand to the Northern Hemisphere, Bundee Aki was both relatively young and inexp(...)

Bundee Aki at Connacht  training. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The Manurewa bank teller comes home from work, after another mindlessly long day, flicks on the box to see his ‘uce’ (Samoan for ‘bro’) playing Super (...)

South Africa captain  Jean De Villiers has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup with a fractured jaw. Photograph: Getty

South Africa captain Jean de Villiers is out of the World Cup after sustaining a fractured jaw in Saturday’s 46-6 win over Samoa. The Springboks resp(...)

South Africa’s JP Pietersen scores the second of his three tries in the Pool B win over Samoa at Villa Park. Photograph:  Peter Cziborra/Action Images via Reuters/Livepic

South Africa 46 Samoa 6 JP Pietersen scored a hat-trick of tries as South Africa bounced back from their shock loss to Japan with a 46-6 six-try, bonu(...)

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