‘It’s not very manly to talk about your feelings… but it’s a big problem we need to talk about’

ANYONE WHO HAS followed James Lowe on social media will know his happy-go-lucky personality comes across in the way he engages with team-mates and supporters, but the Leinster winger is now using the platform to raise awareness for men’s mental health. Along with a number of his Leinster team-mates and the help of Rugby PlayersRead moreRead more

Hansen’s All Blacks intent on doing ‘a wee bit of suffocating ourselves’

“YOU’VE GOT TO be confident when you’ve been as successful as this team has,” said Steve Hansen. And his team-sheet to face Ireland was an equally bullish statement of intent. Rather than run horses for courses and bench Damien McKenzie in favour of moving the better aerial combatant Ben Smith to fullback, the All BlackRead moreRead more

‘There’s still one more box to tick’: Sexton striving for more after dream year

NEVER ONE TO sit back and revel in the achievement, Johnny Sexton’s unwavering quest for betterment will not be quenched by a dream season as he and Ireland strive for more next year. Last night crowned World Rugby Player of the Year in Monaco, Sexton became just the second Irish player — behind Keith WoodRead moreRead more

Van der Merwe strikes twice to seal final World Cup place for Canada

CANADA THIS EVENING sealed the final qualifying place for next year’s Rugby World Cup with a commanding 27-10 win over Hong Kong. The win in Marseille means Canada keep up their record of appearing in every edition of the World Cup since its inception, but they will face a tough time in Pool B asRead moreRead more

Munster braced for Castres clash and wary of ‘fool’s gold’

THERE IS NO more common fixture in Heineken Champions Cup rugby than this, but squint a little and you’ll see something strange about Castres Olympique. They finally look like a club who care about this tournament. Traditionally, one might have looked at CO and felt round three was the ideal time to face them, withRead moreRead more

Contepomi: ‘Leinster are not the Barcelona of rugby – we have a lot to improve’

THE GAME WAS long over as a contest, all five match points safely in Leinster’s possession, but yet their ninth and final try of last weekend’s demolition of a sorry Dragons outfit was the score that stood out. Adam Byrne made the initial break down the right, combining with Tom Daly to move within strikingRead moreRead more

Johnny Sexton named RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year

JOHNNY SEXTON HAS been named as RTÉ Sportsperson of the Year after a year which saw him guide Ireland to Grand Slam success and a historic victory over New Zealand. Rugby enjoyed perhaps its finest year on these shores and Sexton was undoubtedly at the centre of Ireland and Leinster’s successes on the pitch. JoeRead moreRead more

Two Castres players face disciplinary hearings after Sunday’s win over Munster

CASTRES SCRUM-HALF Rory Kockott has been cited for alleged contact made to the eye area of Munster openside Chris Cloete. The incident happened in the lead-up to Castres’ decisive first-half try in an ill-tempered 13-12 win over the southern province in Stade Pierre Fabre. Kockott could face a ban. Source: Inpho/Billy Stickland Cloete immediately turnedRead moreRead more

‘The demand from Japanese fans for Irish tickets is astronomical as well’

THERE’S A GRAND Slam to defend first, but the World Cup is very much in view for Ireland fans as 2019 kicks into gear. While Joe Schmidt will keep his players’ minds focused on the Six Nations in the coming months, some supporters have been plotting their visit to Japan for years now. With theRead moreRead more

‘Sometimes there’s no explanation for form… all you can do is try your best’

LEINSTER HOOKER JAMES Tracy has sampled the top echelon of Irish rugby, and he wants back there. The Kildare man won the most recent of his six caps in the November 2017 win over Argentina, but has fallen down the pecking order in Joe Schmidt’s eyes with Niall Scannell and Rob Herring leading the challengeRead moreRead more