Jack McGrath has been favoured in the Leinster frontrow to Cian Healy, who will be on the bench. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

As dead rubbers go, this is not actually a dud. For starters, technically speaking Leinster’s hopes of advancing to the knockout stages for the 11th t(...)

Toulon centre Ma’a Nonu runs at Leinster outhalf  Jonathan Sexton during the Champions Cup game  at the Stade Felix Mayol. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Toulon 24 Leinster 9 Leinster were brave and obdurate beyond dispute, but they will wonder what might have been had their performance been more acc(...)

New Zealander Maa Nonu in action for Toulon against Agen at the weekend: what Toulon are doing, while amazing to watch, is concocted in Mourad Boudjellal’s office. Photograph: Bertrand langlois/AFP

With the big picture barely sketched by Leo Cullen and Girvan Dempsey, a trip to Toulon is hardly the time for experimentation. This calls for an accu(...)

New Zealand’s Ma’a Nonu during his debut for Toulon against Agen. Photograph: Bertrand Langlois/AFP/Getty Images

Ma’a Nonu’s debut for Toulon commandeered the headlines in a 53-23 home victory over Agen in the French Top 14 Championship. The double World Cup win(...)

Toulon’s Mathieu Bastareaud and Guilhem Guirado tackle Rob Kearney of Leinster in last year’s European Rugby Champions Cup semi-final. Toulon are second favourites to win their fourth Cup in a row. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

For better or for worse, the European Champions Cup is upon us again. The hangover in European rugby still lingers after the World Cup amid general ru(...)

South Africa’s Heyneke Meyer has said he be a “total nutter” to carry on as head coach. Photograph: Reuters

World Cup 3rd/4th Play-off Argentina v South Africa Olympic Stadium, 8.0 TV3, ITV The Springboks squad have thrown their weight behind (...)

Dan Carter is the complete player. His tactical kicking, his passing, his defending were all on the money against South Africa at Twickenham. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

On the evidence of the past fortnight New Zealand would beat Australia by 20 points if Saturday’s game was anything other than a World Cup final. Ever(...)

New Zealand’s winger Nehe Milner-Skudder  evades South Africa’s flanker François Louw  during the  semi-final  of the 2015 Rugby World Cup  at Twickenham on Saturday. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary, the first man to conquer Met Everest For the ages. The greatest team of all time (...)

New Zealand’s Jerome Kaino scores his side’s first try during the Rugby World Cup semi-final against South Africa at Twickenham. Photograph:  David Davies/PA

New Zealand 20 South Africa 18 “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves,” - Edmund Hillary For the ages. The greatest team of all time met an(...)

New Zealand perform the haka before the start of the quarter-final against France at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

This could easily have been the final, but ever since the draw was made in December 2012, this one loomed as the day the Twickenham earth might shudde(...)

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