Hogg: ‘Saracens gave us the kick up the backside we needed’

As British parliamentarians are proving with almost daily inefficiency, leaving Europe can be complicated but as far as Stuart Hogg is concerned, the swift and summary elimination of Glasgow Warriors earlier this season has been the best thing that could have happened to his club.

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Gareth Thomas criticises RFU's 'very feeble, weak response' after Folau and Vunipola controversy

Gareth Thomas had to stop and gather himself more than once today. His voice faltered. It choked with emotion. Who knows how many times his nerves were betrayed by an subconscious impulse to tug at his right ear?

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Geordan Murphy charged over abusing match official

Leicester coach Geordan Murphy has been charged by the Rugby Football Union with two counts of abusing a match official in the Tigers' 32-31 defeat to Bath.

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David Nucifora signs three-year deal to stay with the IRFU

The IRFU have secured the services of Performance Director David Nucifora for another three seasons.

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Irish rugby star tells Israel Folau: 'Don’t judge me – I’m just like everyone else'

An Irish rugby star has written an open letter to Israel Folau saying: “don’t judge me – I’m just like everyone else.”

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Munster reveal home and alternate jerseys for next season

The inspiration for the design "comes from the wall of silence and respect afforded to all who play in Thomond Park and the deafening wave of sound created by Munster’s Red army in full flight".

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D-Day edges closer as rugby chiefs discuss new tournament

World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper says there could be a Women’s Nations Championship if the male concept is given the thumbs up.

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Rennie: Warriors fans are not all Rangers supporters

Glasgow Warriors coach Dave Rennie has refuted the claim that his club’s fans “are all Rangers supporters”.

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Toner injury not a cause for World Cup concern

Devin Toner’s World Cup ambitions remain intact with the news that the Leinster second row faces just a 4-6 week recovery period from the knee injury suffered against Munster in last week’s Guinness PRO14 semi-final.

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Toothless Munster fail to close the gap on Leinster

It’s not often we get a provincial derby between Leinster and Munster these days with both teams fully locked and loaded. Therefore days such as Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 semi-final are occasions to be savoured.

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Six uncapped players named in U20s squad for World Rugby Championships

The party will be whittled down to 28 before departure for Santa Fe, via Amsterdam and Buenos Aires. Ireland face England, Australia and Italy in their pool: a tough task.

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La Rochelle confirm coach's departure amid links to move for Ronan O'Gara

Ronan O'Gara could be a step closer to a return to the French Top 14.

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Van Graan 'very disappointed and sad' at departures of Flannery and Jones

“There is massive opportunity in this disappointment and hopefully we can see the bright side of it.”

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Leinster in rude health for Munster visit

Leinster may be shaken by last Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup final loss to Saracens but Leo Cullen's side have at least emerged from the experience with relatively little in the way of fitness worries ahead of Munster's visit to Dublin.

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Joey Carbery and Keith Earls look set to return for Munster-Leinster semi-final

Joey Carbery and Keith Earls look set to return for Munster against Leinster in Saturday's Guinness Pro14 semi-final at the RDS.

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Munster rugby's PJ Wilson linked with Bath role

Munster's strength and conditioning coach PJ Wilson seems set to follow Jerry Flannery and Felix Jones out the door this summer.

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Saracens prop Mako Vunipola declared fit for Champions Cup final

Vunipola has been troubled by successive ankle problems.

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Townsend offers Gray hope of making Scotland’s World Cup squad

Toulouse forward Richie Gray is one of a number of omissions from Gregor Townsend’s 42-man training squad.

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Paddy Jackson signs with Premiership rugby club

Paddy Jackson is leaving French Top 14 club Perpignan for the Gallagher Premiership where he will play under a former Munster and Ireland coach next season.

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Israel Folau found guilty of ‘high-level’ code of conduct breach

The Wallabies full-back faced a hearing after being issued with a breach notice by Rugby Australia over his homophobic social media posts.

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Late Coetzee try seals Ulster victory over Connacht

A 78th-minute try from Marcell Coetzee helped Ulster book a place in the PRO14 semi-final after beating Irish rivals Connacht 21-13 in a closely-fought encounter at the Kingspan Stadium.

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Van Graan praises Hanrahan performance against Benetton

Munster sneaked into the Guinness PRO14 semi-finals by the skin of their teeth in Limerick on Saturday as Benetton missed two late drop-goal attempts after a game performance in their historic first knockout game.

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Casey ready for life after rugby

Having planned for life beyond rugby for some time now, it is fitting Duncan Casey bade adieu to the sport with three games still to play in his final campaign in professional rugby.

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Munster to clear another hurdle in race for silverware

Munster’s preparations for today’s Guinness PRO14 play-off unravelled last night as Keith Earls was ruled out of the Thomond Park clash with Benetton.

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Best wins fitness race to say fond farewell

Rory Best’s ankle injury has cleared up in time to allow him to have the send-off he hoped for, and the Ireland captain suspects he’ll be an emotional wreck when he says goodbye at the Kingspan Stadium tonight

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Big names on board of rugby players group

Maura Quinn, CEO of the Institute of Directors (IoD) in Ireland, has joined the board of Rugby Players Ireland, the representative association for professional rugby players in Ireland.

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Creating proper environment as tricky as getting the game plan right

There has been a surge in stories lately about who’s going to end up where in 2020 and not all of it has been about your columnist.

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Fergus McFadden banned for the rest of the season after headbutt

He will miss the Heineken Champions Cup final against Saracens as well as the rest of the Pro 14 campaign.

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Shaun Edwards to step down as Wales defence coach after World Cup

Edwards’ 11-year stay with the Grand Slam champions will come to an end after this autumn’s World Cup.

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Barr has added guile to Con, says Hayes

Cork Constitution lock Brian Hayes has hailed the impact made by coach Paul Barr ahead of their latest appearance in an All-Ireland League decider this weekend.

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Can Best exit on ultimate high?

Even with a 747 at his disposal, Marco Polo would probably have thought twice about rushing to map out Rory Best’s last rugby journey, from Armagh to Yokohama.

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French clubs battling to secure Ronan O’Gara's services

Ronan O’Gara is at the centre of a TOP14 battle for his services next season between La Rochelle and former club Racing 92.

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Jack Carty on four-man shortlist for Players' Player of the Year Award

Carty became Connacht's record point-scorer this season and also enjoyed a breakthrough year at international level.

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Allow the club game to wither at your peril — and here’s why...

Regular readers will be familiar with my views on the club game in this country and the role it can still play for professional players at either end of the rugby spectrum.

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Wales head coach Warren Gatland ‘sick of reading’ Shaun Edwards speculation

Defence specialist Edwards has been offered a Welsh Rugby Union contract, but has also found himself linked with other jobs.

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AIL roundup: O’Brien looks to follow in brother’s winning steps

Clontarf centre Sean O’Brien is determined to follow in his older brother Conor’s footsteps and win an All-Ireland League title at the Aviva Stadium next Sunday.

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French flair sends Con back to Aviva

Cork Constitution are through to their fourth successive All-Ireland final next Sunday in the Aviva Stadium where they will face Clontarf after a deserved win over Trinity at Temple Hill yesterday afternoon.

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Cork Constitution to face Clontarf following win over Trinity

Cork Constitution are through to their fourth successful All Ireland Final next Sunday in the Aviva Stadium where they will face Clontarf after a deserved win over Trinity at Temple Hill yesterday afternoon.

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O'Brien determined to follow in older brother Conor's footsteps with All-Ireland title

Clontarf centre Sean O'Brien is determined to follow in his older brother Conor's footsteps and win an All-Ireland League title at the Aviva Stadium next Sunday.

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Smart mouthguard that might help tackle rugby’s concussion crisis set for debut

Made in Britain, a mouthguard that measures head impact data and transmits it to the sidelines will be used for the first time on Saturday.

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Watson to make Bath return after 13 months out

The England international has not played since last season’s Six Nations.

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Griffin and Galvin welcome RPI board role

Ireland women’s captain Ciara Griffin and Sevens star Louise Galvin have welcomed their appointments to the board of Rugby Players Ireland following the representative body’s expansion of its executive committee to reflect its growing remit in the Irish professional rugby.

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A look at how Manchester City and Liverpool’s remaining league matches compare

City have returned to the top of the Premier League table.

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Johnny Sexton's brother signs for South African Pro14 club

Johnny Sexton could go head to head with his younger brother in the Pro14 next season.

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The Kieran Shannon Interview: Calling it as he sees it

For 20 years Michael Corcoran has been working in RTÉ, covering and commentating on the Irish provinces’ exploits in Europe, writes Kieran Shannon.

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Farrell: We’ve got to make sure we know what is coming

Owen Farrell might have been a leading candidate for a few sleepless nights recently but he is determined not to lose out on his eight hours of shut-eye over the challenge facing Saracens this afternoon

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Kidney and Kiss lead London Irish to promotion back to English Premiership

London Irish secured promotion back to the Gallagher Premiership after recording a 46-7 victory over Richmond.

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Brad Barritt fit to face Munster in Champions Cup semi-final

The Saracens centre has recovered from an ankle ligament injury.

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Ronan O'Gara reveals World Cup role with France is 'off the table'

Ronan O'Gara has ruled out joining the French coaching setup for the World Cup.

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Simon Zebo brings Hanna, 8, on dream trip to Racing 92

Paris may be mourning after the Notre Dame cathedral fire, but for a little girl from Kerry, it provided the experience of a lifetime last weekend.

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Time gentlemen, please: The law that promotes cynicism

Peter Jackson gets over the gain line, behind the headline

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Nigel Owens calls for respect in rugby homophobia controversy

A Rugby World Cup final referee has called for respect in the wake of the homophobia issues that have hit the sport.

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Has Munster game developed enough to stun mighty Sarries?

This time 12 months ago, Munster and Leinster felt bulletproof as they approached their respective Champions Cup semi-final deciders against Racing 92 and Scarlets, with both squads densely fortified with players from Ireland’s all-conquering Grand Slam team.

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Billy Vunipola handed formal warning by RFU

The Saracens number eight has already been formally warned by his club.

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Anscombe to join Ospreys from Cardiff

The Wales fly-half will move when his Cardiff contract expires in the summer.

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Former Ireland team manager appointed to European board

Former Ireland team manager Michael Kearney has been appointed to the board of European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR).

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Evangelical Alliance backs Vunipola over controversial Instagram post

The Saracens number eight posted in support of Israel Folau.

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Wigan focused on future after Shaun Edwards confirms U-turn

The Wales defence coach, and former Warriors player, will not be taking up his agreed position as head coach.

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