Connacht ‘not the finished product,’ but Friend delighted with array of threats on show

CONNACHT WERE FAR from perfect in their Friday night win in Ravenhill, but in a way, that was part of the beauty of it. This weekend they can celebrate a landmark result, the banishment of a hoodoo and a third win of the season. But the 15-22 victory will also deliver areas of their gameRead moreRead more

Ex-England and New Zealand youth internationals included in Scotland squad

SCOTLAND HEAD COACH Gregor Townsend has named the uncapped trio of Sam Skinner, Sam Johnson and Blade Thomson in his 40-strong Scotland squad for the autumn Tests. Exeter second-rower Skinner is a former England youth international, while Scarlets number eight Thomson has represented New Zealand’s U20s. They join Glasgow centre Johnson in the 40-man group namedRead moreRead more

‘He has all the traits Joe Schmidt likes’: The value of adding Addison to Ireland’s ranks

WILL ADDISON IS one of the few uncapped players in Joe Schmidt’s squad for the November series ahead. But he’s not exactly a new face for the Ireland head coach having trained with the national team even before he got to Ulster. In the latest instalment of Heineken Rugby Weekly, Gavan Casey, Andy Dunne andRead moreRead more

Ireland Women come up short against USA as 16-year-old Parsons debuts

Ireland 10 USA 19 Murray Kinsella reports from Donnybrook IRELAND SLIPPED TO a November Test defeat to the visiting USA as they failed to create enough attacking chances over the course of the 80 minutes in Donnybrook, but they look to have unearthed a couple of gems. Click Here: mens wallabies jersey Ballinasloe and ConnachtRead moreRead more

‘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