Graham Henry

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New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen at the captain’s run on Friday ahead of the Rugby World Cup quarter-final against Ireland in Tokyo on Saturday. Photograph:   Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images

Steve Hansen is a horse whisperer. “There was no way I could bully it,” he once said about a feisty nag. “I had to take my time with it and watch its(...)

 Joe Schmidt: “That fluidity changes philosophy, it changes preparation and, I guess, it demands more from players.”

There’s something very apt about a Rugby World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand being one of, and perhaps the ultimate, defining game of the gild(...)

Samoa’s head coach Steve Jackson takes part in  training session during the captain’s run at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium on the eve of the Rugby World Cup Pool A match against  Ireland. Photograph:  Christophe Simon/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Schmidt’s first match as Irish coach was a 40-9 win over Samoa in Dublin six years ago and, as ever, Samoa’s plans beyond this game remain unclear(...)

 Jordie Barrett, Scott Barrett and Beauden Barrett of New Zealand line up for the national ahead of their win over Canada. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

New Zealand 63 Canada 0 They came in their tens of thousands to see the one team that resonates here, New Zealand, queueing in their black jerseys in(...)

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(...)

Joey Carbery: he  had been earmarked for this World Cup in part because he also covered full-back and at a push the role of third choice scrum-half

Nobody died, but it sure as hell felt like someone had. Everyone being dressed in black maybe added to the funereal atmosphere. The news had broken ea(...)

Reece Hodge of Australia celebrates his try during the 2019 Rugby Championship test match between Australia and  New Zealand last Saturday. Photograph:  James Worsfold/Getty Images

Uneasy lies the crown. The feeling that this year’s World Cup is undoubtedly the most openly competitive in yonks, perhaps ever, was strengthened by t(...)

Beauden Barrett in action against South Africa during the Rugby Championship. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty

New Zealand Who are they The All Blacks head to Japan looking to secure an unprecedented third Rugby World Cup on the bounce, after their long-await(...)

Warren Gatland is to take charge of Super Rugby franchise the Chiefs but will also coach the British and Irish Lions in South Africa in 2021. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Warren Gatland is to split his role as British and Irish Lions coach with a new job in Super Rugby in charge of the Chiefs. Gatland has agreed a four-(...)

Ireland’s muted celebrations after  Conor Murray secured a bonus point against Italy. The body language of the Irish team in Rome was telling. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Last year was the greatest 12 months in the history of Irish rugby. After the extreme highs of a Grand Slam, a winning series in Australia and defeati(...)

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