France outhalf Romain Ntamack in action during the Six Nations game against Ireland at the Stade de France. Photograph:  Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images

15 Anthony Bouthier (France) The 28-year-old climbed from fourth tier to ProD2 with Vannes until signed by Montpellier last year. Marked debut agains(...)

 France’s scrumhalf Antoine Dupont makes a break   during the Six Nations  clash against Ireland at the Stade de France, in Saint Denis,  Paris. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images

France 35 Ireland 27 This was an odd, fluctuating affair which was both encouraging from an Irish perspective but also a little sobering. They went (...)

The magnificent Stade de France will be empty on Saturday night. No brass bands beating out “Allez les Bleus.” No smuggled roosters will be liberated onto the hallowed turf and no cigar smoke. File photograph: Getty Images

Some days truly shine with the excitement of possibility. For the Irish National team, today is one of those beautiful days. The opportunity to win i(...)

The men’s and women’s captains at the launch of the Guinness Six Nations Championship in London on Wednesday. From left:   Siwan Lillicrap (Wales),  Giada Franco (Italy),  Luca Bigi (Italy),  Stuart Hogg (Scotland),  Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales),  Sarah Hunter (England),  Charles Ollivon (France),  Owen Farrell (England),  Gaëlle Hermet (France), Ciara Griffin (Ireland) and  Rachel Malcolm (Scotland).  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

With four new coaches, predicting the winner of this Six Nations is a tricky business. We have very little information on what game plan the new coach(...)

Donnacha Ryan with Mike Prendergast and Simon Zebo after the Heineken Champions Cup Round 1 game between Racing and Saracens at  Paris La Défense Arena on November 17th. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Munster need Northampton or Glasgow to slip up on Saturday in order to retain an outside interest in the knockout stages come the 1pm kick-off against(...)

Simon Zebo: the former Munster man will prove a potent threat at fullback for Racing 92 at Thomond Park. Photograph: Anthony Dibon/Icon Sport via Getty Images

Heineken Champions Cup: Munster v Racing 92 Kick-off: 5.30pm, Saturday. Venue: Thomond Park. How to follow: The Irish Times liveblog will begin at 5p(...)

Leinster’s Woodstock 50th anniversary celebratory tie-dye squashed, fifty shades of blue is in the running for the gong in the worst jersey of 2019 category. Photograph: Inpho

It appears there are two types of clubs in this seasons Champions Cup. The wolves and the sheep. You can follow where this is going, can’t you? Yes, (...)

 Saracens’ celebrate with the trophy after beating Leinster in last year’s final. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Pool 1 Leinster Coach: Leo Cullen. Captain: Johnny Sexton. Last season: Runners-up. How they qualified: Pro 14 champions. Key man: Sexton is the(...)

South Africa’s Makazole Mapimpi, Faf de Klerk and Lukhanyo Am all had excellent tournaments. Photograph: Inpho

15 Beauden Barrett (New Zealand) It’s too reactive to say that Barrett’s switch to fullback didn’t work on the basis of their semi-final exit, as Eng(...)

Jaco Peyper awards Ross Moriarty’s try. Photograph:  Christophe Ena/AP

Wales 20 France 19 Wales are into the semi-finals of the World Cup but only after one of the crazier quarter-finals of modern times. With six minutes(...)

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