Neil Back

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England captain Martin Johnson shouts at an IRFU official after his team lined up on the wrong side before the start of the 2003 Six Nations rugby clash with Ireland in Dublin. Photograph Patrick Bolger/Inpho

The story is a familiar one. England are in the Lansdowne Road dressing room having a talk before their match against Ireland in the 2003 Six Nations(...)

Munster Players celebrate as their captain, Anthony Foley, lifts the trophy following victory during the Heineken Cup final between Munster and Biarritz Olympique  on May 20th, 2006, in Cardiff’s  Millennium Stadium. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Twenty four hours on and the sense of shock remains profound. Reading all the heartfelt tributes on this site and elsewhere, looking at all the pictur(...)

Paul Burke in action for Leicester against Munster: “From my experience playing for Munster, nothing fires the players more than the prospect of someone entering their territory with aspirations.”  Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Paul Burke looked to his past to secure his future. Epsom College took the boy and made him a man and now that man has returned to further the rugby (...)

Argentina’s Guido Petti Pagadizábal tries to hold up   Australia’s   flankers David Pocock (left) and Michael Hooper  in last week’s Rugby World Cup  semi-final  at Twickenham. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP

Historically, when a man touched your ball at the base of a ruck he was met with outright violence. This was accepted by the errant openside. Evidence(...)

Robert Kitson names 11 provincial players in his all-time European Cup best XV, including former Munster number eight Anthony Foley. Photograph: Getty

Time-travelling is always a temptation at this time of year. This week sees the 20th showpiece final in European club rugby’s eventful history and, in(...)

Munster’s Alan Quinlan wrestles with Leicester’s  Neil Back during the 2002 Heineken Cup final at the  Millennium Stadium in  Cardiff. Photo:  David Rogers/Getty Image

Rugby can sometimes contrive the Hollywood ending. And so it is the next time Neil Back and Peter Stringer line out, they may be chumming up to each (...)

Lions captain Brian O’Driscoll  eyes up the New Zealand All Black haka before  the ill-fated first Test match in Christchurch in  2005.

New Zealand 21Lions 3at Jade Stadium, ChristchurchJune 25th, 2005Bad and all as losing him within a minute of the kick-off was, the real psychological(...)

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