Jonah Lomu

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South African rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen, who was battling motor neurone disease has died. The 45-year-old former scrum-half, a Springboks captain who won the 1995 World Cup, was diagnosed with the condition in 2011. The incurable disease which damages parts of the nervous system left van der Westhuizen confined to a wheelchair, as he was given two to five years to live when he was diagnosed. Photograph: Getty Images

Joost van der Westhuizen was a giant of South African rugby and one of the best scrum-halves of all time. His death at the age of 45 from motor neuro(...)

All Blacks Liam Squire, Ben Smith and Rieko Ioane try their hand at  hurling during a visit to Castleknock College in Dublin. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

It has always been one of the more elusive subjects in sport, if not life itself: is it any craic being an All Black? Take this evening. Your name mi(...)

The Ireland players form a ring around Joe Schmidt at the Aviva Stadium as the head coach delivers instructions. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

A New Zealand television journalist crystallised Joe Schmidt’s Ireland with the final question of Thursday’s press conference: “Joe, you always talk a(...)

Robbie Henshaw scores the  try that clinched Ireland’s victory at Soldier Field. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland v New Zealand Aviva Stadium, 5.30 RTÉ 2, Sky Sports 2 It doesn’t get any easier, does it? True, Ireland may have removed the biggest mo(...)

The late Jonah Lomu leaves the pitch after playing Ireland in the 1995 RugbyWorld Cup. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

A foreboding thought: The All Blacks are playing for Jonah Lomu. Lomu passed away one year ago aged only 40. The All Black legend and giant winger (...)

New Zealand clears the  ball upfield against Ireland as  Johnny Sexton rushes in. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

A natural tendency of Ireland has always been to get behind a cause, said New Zealand coach Steve Hansen. Obliquely referring to the figure eight Irel(...)

Children from Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada, Lucan, pose for photographs with the All Blacks rugby team. Photograph courtesy of  Gaelscoil Eiscir Riada.

Children from a Co Dublin Gaelscoil performed a modified version of the Maori Haka for the All Blacks rugby team at their training ground ahead of thi(...)

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(...)

Seán O’Brien and Peter O’Mahony could have a big impact against the All Blacks if they are introduced from the bench. Photograph: Marcus Sheridan/Inpho

O Captain! My Captain! – Walt Whitman’s iconic poem about the untimely demise of American president Abraham Lincoln comes to mind. Oh Captain! My Cap(...)

My doctor told me I can’t have protein shakes anymore.  “No whey!”

‘My doctor told me I can’t have protein shakes anymore.” “No whey!” Lame gags aside, something that is no joke is the booming dietary supplement in(...)

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