Iain Henderson and Rory Best arrive at Laganside Magistrates court in Belfast on January 31st, 2018  where Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were on trial accused of raping the same woman. Photograph:  Pacemaker

Rain fell on Iain Henderson and Rory Best as they walked into Laganside Magistrates Court. The incoming and outgoing captains of Ulster wore similarly(...)

 Morne Du Plessis leads out his team against the British Lions in 1980 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Photograph: Getty Images

No issue has divided or caused more controversy in rugby than apartheid, and specifically the sport’s links with South Africa and the Springboks while(...)

Action from South Africa v Australia at Newlands in July 1933, the tour on which Aubrey Hodgson made his Wallabies debut. File photograph: Getty Images

A recent lockdown clear-out prompted the discovery of a semi-skimmed and long-forgotten letter forwarded to me by my mother some years ago; a piece of(...)

Rory Best gets a send-off from fellow Irish players after his final game for Ireland at the Aviva Stadium, the World Cup warm-up against Wales in September 2019. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

“It was another one of those nights and I went in to the local chicken shop, as you do,” Rory Best says as he remembers a drunken time long before he (...)

Michael Kiernan scores a drop goal to win the Triple Crown for Ireland in their match against England at Lansdowne Road in 1985. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Grand Slams went beyond the consciousness of children in the 1980s – unseen heroics by Karl Mullen and Jack Kyle – but Triple Crowns were known artefa(...)

Ulster team manager Bryn Cunningham: ‘I came in around November 2014 and we had a very strong first XV on paper that year and in subsequent years but there wasn’t the depth below that.’ Photograph: Matt Mackey/Inpho/Presseye

It is March 2018, the Belfast rape trial is ongoing, when Ulster hosts a meeting with season ticket holders. The room is soaked in vitriol as supporte(...)

Willie John McBride was unrepentant about his decision to take part in the controversial World Rugby XV tour in apartheid South Africa in 1989. Photograph: Independent News And Media/Getty Images

The Irish Rugby Football Union’s decision to allow members to participate in the controversial World Rugby XV tour in apartheid South Africa in August(...)

Johnny Sexton at a training session at the Aviva yesterday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

One of my oldest memories of watching the Five Nations Rugby tournament, as it was then, was of Ireland playing England on a wet day in the 1970s. And(...)

Ireland’s Andrew Porter, Jonathan Sexton, Tadhg Furlong and James Ryan celebrate victory over the All Blacks in 2018. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

“It just wouldn’t happen today,” Willie John McBride says on a rainy morning at home in Ballyclare as he explains the vast differences between the gle(...)

Former Irish rugby player Willie John McBride has been recognised for his service to the sport in Queen Elizabeth’s New Year’s honours list.

Former Irish rugby player Willie John McBride has been recognised for his service to the sport in Queen Elizabeth’s new year’s honours list. The 78-y(...)

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