SPORTS COLUMNISTS

RONAN O'GARA: Edinburgh come next February will be a real sticky affair

France won’t win next year’s Six Nations championship for the very reason Joe Schmidt’s Ireland just might: discipline, writes Ronan O’Gara.

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PAUL ROUSE: The tall tale of how the Irish really invented rugby

Does it matter if people make up their own history? 

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JOHN MCHENRY: Time against him but Tiger Woods can still claim elusive 15th major

As we head into the silly season on the golfing calendar, I would like to reflect on some of the more remarkable performances of the year. But firstly, I must say that it is wonderful to finally see Tiger Woods return to the competitive fold this week, after all of his injury setbacks.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Six important points ahead of a Six Nations to savour

With three wins, including a first over New Zealand, November has been a hugely encouraging month for Joe Schmidt and Irish rugby in general. So what were the major discussion points?

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DAVID SHONFIELD: Leipzig now the German Leicester City?

It could only happen in England, they said, and of course it could never happen again.

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KIERAN SHANNON: Like it or not, Conor McGregor is up there with the elite athletes

Even here in his homeland a lot of us have little idea how respected he is.

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JOHN FOGARTY: All-Stars game needs a revamp

After about five minutes of Friday’s All-Star game in Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City, the crowd stopped cheering scores.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Another big step on Ireland's road to greatness?

After this momentous win, who knows what this Irish squad is capable of achieving.

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MICHAEL MOYNIHAN: Science at hand to fix GAA schedules

It took me a while but I caught up last week with Michael MacCambridge’s America’s Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation.

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TONY LEEN: Classy Dr Crokes can make anyone look bad in a hurry

They have won five of the last seven Kerry football championship, and on days like these, it’s hard to figure how Dr Crokes contrive to lose any game at all.

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PAT KEANE: Testing times for Willie Mullins

It is about two months since Gigginstown shocked the racing world and removed 60 horses from the care of Willie Mullins.

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RUBY WALSH: A key weekend as wraps come off young stars

The National Hunt season is hitting full stride now, and thus this is a good weekend for us to begin to unwrap some of our best young horses of last season.

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LARRY RYAN: The return of Liverpool's living legend

Football autobiographies tend to set their stall out early doors.

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LIAM MACKEY: Stephen Kenny not remotely interested in settling for pats on the head

While I wouldn’t imagine that having to engage with the dreaded meeja features high on any football manager’s list of ‘favourite things to do’, victory must make the task a lot more tolerable.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Three talking points ahead of Ireland's game with Australia

David Pocock is a force of nature and Ireland will need to keep the ball off the deck as much as possible to negate his influence, writes Donal Lenihan.

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RONAN O'GARA: But — the word that must be banned in Irish dressing room

The French for goal is ‘but’. I’m not a fan of the English equivalent of the spelling.

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BRENDAN O'BRIEN: Player safety being compromised

There’s a moment in the second episode of the superb American football documentary Last Chance U when Brittany Wagner, an athletic academic advisor — yep, it’s a thing — with East Mississippi Community College, exhales dramatically during a tight game with rival college Co-Lin and reckons that she may have just stopped breathing for a full minute.

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PAUL ROUSE: Down Under turned game on its head

The announcement this week that the GAA will send a team of its best players to Australia to play International Rules against a team of Australian footballers in 2017 marks 50 years of engagement between the two sports.

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JOHN FOGARTY: Did we miss the mark this year? Did we miss it in our game to date? I don’t think so

There is a serious amount of negativity around reporting and reflecting on gaelic games, writes John Fogarty from Dubai.

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