Tana Umaga

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Sonny Bill Williams has been named in the Blues starting XV for their clash with the Lions. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty

It is a measure of the importance which coach Tana Umaga and the Blues attach to their encounter with the Lions at Eden Park on Wednesday that akin to(...)

The All Blacks expect Warren Gatland to stick with his familiar tactics. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Thursday’s front page of the New Zealand Herald probably summed up the phoney war to date as well as anything. To the backdrop of a picture of Warren (...)

“If the All Blacks have a point of vulnerability, it has typically been their first outing of the season.” Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

The British & Irish Lions should take it as a mark of respect that the All Blacks have scrambled a game against Samoa ahead of the Test series. I(...)

Tommy Seymour, Maro Itoje and Tadhg Furlong. Itoje and Furlong are the sort of men who can help the modern Lions reach new heights.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

History shows us that a Lions tour wastes no time taking an irreparable turn for the worst. This unique squad can only perform if the sum of its parts(...)

James Lowe of the Maori All Blacks runs in for a try in their victory over the USA Eagles. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Munster v Maori All Blacks, Thomond Park, Friday, 7.30pm (Live Eir Sport) Munster already find themselves in the midst of an unbelievably draining (...)

Irish captain Willie Anderson faces up to New Zealand captain Wayne Shelford as the All Blacks perform ‘The Haka’. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ringa pakia. The placebo effect can be a powerful psychological weapon. How should Ireland respond to a people who believe they are possessed by immo(...)

Connacht’s Bundee Aki celebrates as he leaves the field after the  team’s Pro12 final victory over Leinster at Murrayfield. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Unlike Pat Lam and the countless others who blazed a trail from New Zealand to the Northern Hemisphere, Bundee Aki was both relatively young and inexp(...)

EPCR director general Vincent Gaillard at the launch of the  European Rugby Champions Cup and Challenge Cup  at Dublin Convention Centre. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Vincent Gaillard, director general of the European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), hopes to introduce independent doctors pitchside, armed with video (...)

Mike Ford at the RDS last January where his side Bath lost to Leinster in the Champions Cup. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Mike Ford is among several coaches to hold discussions with Leinster as the province looks for a defence coach to replace Kurt McQuilkin, who has dec(...)

Hayden Triggs: “He’s on a stretcher, man, with his neck tied down. That’s scary.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Sometimes it takes a player from the other side of the world to call it as he sees it. Leinster lock Hayden Triggs is a former Kiwi soldier and a str(...)

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