The URC is becoming a less forgiving place as Irish provinces feel more heat

IF THERE WERE a few smug grins around the URC head offices earlier this week, you couldn’t really blame them. All eight of the URC sides involved in the Champions Cup qualified for the round-of-16, a strong showing in comparison to three Top 14 clubs and a representation of five from England’s Premiership. To be … Read more

Potential run of Dublin knock-out games gives Leinster a tantalizing route to the title

LAST UPDATE | 17 hours ago WHEN THE TOULOUSE trio of Melvyn Jaminet, Antoine Dupont, and head coach Ugo Mola came into the media room at Stade Ernest-Wallon on Sunday after the French club’s win over Munster, it was surprising to hear them fielding questions about Leinster. Our French isn’t as sharp as it should … Read more

Porter leads Leinster, Ulster impresses, Connacht stumbles and Munster will miss Ryan

1. Another big shift from Andrew Porter With 72 minutes on the clock at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday, Leo Cullen finally sent in his final replacement. On went Michael Milne, off went Andrew Porter. It was the second Saturday running where Porter was asked to play 72 minutes, with Milne getting less than 20 … Read more

Leinster’s Joe Show, Connacht’s Aki call, Ulster’s defining night and Kilcoyne’s Munster aim

1. All eyes on the Joe Show for Leinster Jamie Osborne and Ross Byrne hogged most of the headlines this week from a Leinster perspective, but today provides Joe McCarthy with an opportunity to become the latest Leinster player to catapult himself into the limelight. The highly-rated second row is seen as a hugely exciting … Read more

Young talent still emerging but Racing visit a reminder of what Leinster are losing

ANYONE HEADING TO Aviva Stadium this afternoon for Leinster’s Champions Cup meeting with Racing [KO 3.15pm, RTÉ 2/BT Sport] will be doing well not to think about what the future may hold for both of these European powerhouses. Regardless of today’s outcome, change is coming in both camps and it will be fascinating to watch … Read more

I’ve spent enough time over the years worrying about things that aren’t in my control

WITH ANDY FARRELL set to name his Six Nations squad tomorrow, it was an interesting week for Leinster to put Ross Byrne forward for media duty. The 27-year-old had to get used to being overlooked by Farrell but capitalized on an injury crisis at out-half last November by coming on against Australia to win his … Read more

Rugby Australia hires Eddie Jones as head coach on five-year deal; Dave Rennie sacked | Rugby Union News

Eddie Jones returns as head coach of Australia on a five-year deal, 18 years after he last held the post, and a little over a month after his sacking as England head coach; Dave Rennie leaves the role to make way; Jones will also oversee the women’s team Last Updated: 15/01/23 11:19pm Eddie Jones has … Read more

Leinster’s setpiece, the good and the bad for Munster, Ulster’s half-back dilemma

1. Leinster’s set piece struggles On paper it could hardly be going better for Leinster. Unbeaten this season, Saturday’s defeat of Gloucester was their third straight bonus point win in the Champions Cup and their 15th victory on the bounce. From three Champions Cup pool games, they’ve scored 148 points and conceded just 24. As … Read more

‘I don’t know where my life would be if I didn’t pick up the rugby ball’

IT SOUNDS LIKE Kate Sheehan never really had a tough choice to make when it came to sports. Rugby chose her. The Munster hooker’s grandfather and uncle were both presidents of Richmond RFC in Limerick. Her dad used to bring her to Thomond Park to watch Munster games, as well as to Garryowen and Young … Read more

‘International quality’ Osborne impressing Leinster as Henshaw in race to be fit for Six Nations

IT’S RARE THAT any rugby coach has a full deck to choose from, but over the last couple of weeks the treatment rooms at Leinster HQ have been a little too busy for comfort. A lengthy injury list is currently putting Leinster’s much-vaunted squad depth to the test. This weekend they head to Gloucester for … Read more