Sergio Parisse

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Italy plan to steer clear of Ireland secondrow  Devin Toner in Saturday’s Six Nations game in Rome. Photograph: Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Italy will seek to nullify Ireland’s lineout threat by steering completely clear of Devin Toner in Saturday’s Six Nations clash. Azzurri lock George (...)

Sergio Parisse is facing a fitness battle ahead of Italy’s Six Nations clash with Ireland. Photograph: Inpho/Matteo Ciambelli

Italy talisman Sergio Parisse faces a battle to recover from a neck injury in time to face Ireland in Rome on Saturday. The 33-year-old number eight (...)

George North thunder clear to score Wales’s third try in their comfortable win over Italy. Photograph: Getty/David Rogers

Wales started their Six Nations campaign with victory over Italy after they ground down a resilient Azzurri side with three tries in the final quarter(...)

Conor O’Shea: the right man to lead Italy forward. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Prospects: Where once Italy were able to boast a handful of forwards who would contend for a place in any other team in the Six Nations, that is no l(...)

Italy  coach Conor O’Shea: “This is just a beginning but it is a very good beginning.”

In the wake of Italy’s 20-18 win against South Africa in Florence on Saturday, the Azzurri coach, Irishman Conor O’Shea, and his squad inevitably earn(...)

Ball control is the key factor for Connacht in their opening Champions Cup fixture against Toulouse, writes Liam Toland. Photo: Inpho

Are Toulouse a heavyweight of French rugby? Certainly they have a squad packed with international stars and boy does their European squad impress. But(...)

Ireland’s Simon Zebo and CJ Stander after victory over Scotland. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The 2016 Six Nations was never going to emulate the World Cup for its quality of rugby. Nor was it ever going to reproduce anything like the high-end (...)

Jamie Heaslip’s first try was an absolute belter. The offload from Simon Zebo (above), like all offloads, shattered the Italian defensive structure. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Many years ago I had the great privilege of listening to a coach’s cautionary tale from the great Australian cycling coach, David ‘Charlie’ Walsh. C(...)

Ireland’s Fergus McFadden and Josh van der Flier are both key players in Joe Schmidt’s eyes. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

1. One is either a Joe Schmidt player or one is not. And it helps to be one. Fergus McFadden is one and so, apparently, is Josh van der Flier (13 tac(...)

Conor Murray and Ian Madigan share a joke at the final whistle after Ireland’s victory over Italy in Saturday’s Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Nine tries in this 58-15 victory scatters the wolves far from Joe Schmidt’s door. But, we can be sure, the Ireland coach knows exactly what is being s(...)

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