Isa Nacewa

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Leinster’s Gordon D’Arcy celebrates his try as Johnny Sexton and Munster’s Ronan O’Gara exchange words in the Heineken Cup semi-final in 2009. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

When Irish rugby historians search for the biggest shift in the balance of power at provincial level they need look no further than May 2nd, 2009, and(...)

Scrum coach John Fogarty is leaving the province after the Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/EPA

As the magnifying glass is passed over some of the areas in which Leinster were beaten by Saracens in last weekend’s Champions Cup final, management b(...)

 Saracens’ Billy Vunipola scores their second try. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

The two were so far ahead of the rest it wasn’t funny. The runners-up will feel they couldn’t have done a whole lot more and took the champions to the(...)

Rugger Leinster v Saracens

In the wake of such a salutary defeat to the remorseless Saracens juggernaut, the huge army of Leinster fans who had invaded Newcastle and those watch(...)

Leinster’s James Lowe celebrates after his side’s victory over Toulouse in the Champions Cup semi-final at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster’s three-into-two conundrum in having to omit one of their “non-EU” players appears to have already been resolved for Saturday’s Heineken Cham(...)

Rocky Elsom in action for Leinster: “We adopted an under-12s mentality in many games that season [2008-9]. Give the ball to the big fella and pile after him. It worked, especially against Munster at Croke Park.”  Photograph: Graham Stuart/Inpho

There are several reasons for the continued success of the Irish provinces. Home grown talent will always matter. Some brilliant coaching tickets have(...)

Rhys Ruddock in action against Ulster in the  Champions Cup quarter-final. “When I do finish I want to feel like I’ve given everything I can to make all my dreams and aspirations come true.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Champions Cup semi-finals: Leinster v Toulouse Kick off: 3.15pm, Sunday. Venue: Aviva Stadium. How to follow: The (...)

Leinster’s Isa Nacewa consoles Racing 92’s Teddy Thomas after the latter’s error handed the Irish province victory in the Champions Cup final in Bilbao last year. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

With four exciting matches featuring the form club teams in Europe, the Champions Cup quarter-finals weekend is my favourite in the club rugby season.(...)

Ross Byrne: “He leads the team well; he’s a very clear understanding of what’s expected and how we want to play the game. So, no issues with Ross, he’s been fantastic,” says Leo Cullen. Photograph: Laszlo

Heineken Champions Cup Pool Two, Leinster v Toulouse Venue: RDS Kick-off: 1pm On TV: Live On Virgin Media, Ch4, BT Sport If(...)

Conor O’Brien celebrates his try against Ulster. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Conor O’Brien is on the cusp of realising a childhood dream to play for Leinster in the Heineken Champions Cup. The likelihood is Leo Cullen will regi(...)

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