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Six Nations: Massive Over Reliance On Overseas Players?

The Six Nations is finally under way. With not much to pour over after the first gameweek, we examine the huge role overseas players have in the tournament.    The championship kicked off with not so much as bang but a whimper as three turgid games were served up to the rugby fraternity. Undoubtedly, England’s second half show in Cardiff …

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Six Nations: Rome Conquered, A French Invasion Looms

Ireland’s Six Nations defence got off to a satisfactory, if somewhat uninspiring start at the Satdio Olimpico, as Joe Schmidt’s men ground out a 3-26 victory. The loss of Sean O’Brien to a hamstring strain in the warm up would not have helped the Irish cause in what was to become a turgid war of attrition. In a twist of irony, …

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Wales 16-21 England: Gatland Left With Plenty To Ponder

England’s effective gameplan must leave Wales coach Warren Gatland pondering his options; Patrick Ward discusses.  What an efficient and professional performance that was from England. From being ten points down within the opening ten minutes to restricting a normally potent Welsh side to just two penalties for the final 70 minutes, it was a display of supreme discipline from Stuart Lancaster’s …

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Rhys Webb: Key To Welsh Ambition

Rhys Webb has fought his way into Warren Gatland’s plans. Tonight he can put doubts to bed, as he faces a massive challenge in the form of England. Brian Barry ponders if he can drive Wales to a 6 Nations title.   While it may have gone somewhat unnoticed during the November internationals, there was a seismic shift in the half-backs …

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Stage Set For Robbie Henshaw To Shine

Following on from a dream November Series, Robbie Henshaw’s name-tag has changed from a ”future star” to a ”present star”. Is the stage set for the Buccaneers man to continue his meteoric rise in this year’s RBS Six Nations?   The Athlone man will start at inside centre this Saturday in Rome, partnering Jared Payne in Ireland’s midfield. Ahead of …

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6 Nations 2015: Five Predictions

The 6 Nations kicks-off tonight with Wales hosting England at the Millennium Stadium. Brian Barry discusses five of his predictions for the tournament, ahead of this weekend’s opening games. 5. Wales to win the Championship and Triple Crown While all the talk is surrounding Ireland, entering the tournament, the championship may move across the Irish Sea for 2015. The Welsh come into the tournament …

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Ireland’s Starting XV To Face Italy Announced

joe schmidt, irish rugby

Ireland travel to the Stadio Olympico on Saturday afternoon to face Italy in the first of their Six Nations Championship games. Kick-off in Rome is at 2:30pm.   Paul O’Connell unsurprisingly captains Ireland while try scorers from the Australia game back in November – Simon Zebo and Tommy Bowe – start once again. Ian Madigan, who scored three penalties for the …

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Gaming Review: Rugby 15? Save Yourself The Disappointment

Resident rugby writer, Raffaele Rocca reviews, in detail, one of rugby’s main gaming experiences, Rugby 15.  As a sports fan and sometime gamer, there are two titles this writer looks forward to every year. FIFA comes out every October, and despite there being little variation in the game over the years, it remains extremely playable and has all the bases …

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Six Nations: Injury-Hit England Announce Side To Face Wales

Stuart Lancaster today named his XV for Friday night’s Six Nations clash with Wales at the Milennium Stadium, a game which he will be without a number of his key players in. Danny Cipriani will have to be content with a spot on the bench alongside Nick Easter who has been the standout Number Eight in the Premiership this season. …

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LISTEN: Irish Coaches En Vogue in France

Mike Prendergast, Backs coach at Grenoble and former Munster man discusses life in France and why Irish Rugby is in demand on the continent with our man Raffaele Rocca.   The French Top14 is to rugby what Serie A was to soccer in the 90’s. It’s a league littered with the biggest and best superstars that a rich owner’s chequebook …

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Six Nations Report Card: Italy

The Six Nations are almost upon us. Get the low down on one of Ireland’s easier opponents before things kick-off in Rome.    2014 Finish: The Italians disappointingly finished 6th in last year’s Six Nations, failing to register a single victory last season for the first time since 2009. Since Italian clubs have been drafted into what was the Celtic League, …

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AIL GOTW In Pictures – St. Mary’s 15-13 Cork Con

This week’s AIL Game of the Week is St. Mary’s vs Cork Con. Kevin Hegarty was there to capture all the action.   St. Mary’s fended off a second half surge from Cork Con to finish this AIL GOTW winners. Cork Con had the lion’s share of chances in the first half but #10 Tomas Quinlan 1 of 4 penalty kick attempts giving the …

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Ireland’s Top 15 Six Nations Memories

Nostalgia alert! Calm your Six Nations excitement and hysteria with 15 of the best memories Ireland have provided us with.   The 16th instalment of rugby’s greatest tournament kicks off on Friday night and since the inclusion of the Italians, Ireland’s rugby fortunes have drastically changed from the dark days of the nineties when the men in green could not …

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Six Nations: Who will be Joe Schmidt’s Perfect 10?

The Six Nations is upon us. But who will Joe Schmidt go with at number 10? Here are the talents, contenders and forgotten men.   And so there are no more games left to impress Joe Schmidt. The next time Ireland’s finest run out onto the paddock it will be into Rome’s modern day Coliseum and the Irish Six Nations’ …

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Leinster Unveil Plans For New-Look RDS

Leinster Rugby have today announced plans to extend and revamp their home ground, the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin. The new design will faciltate up to 25,00o supporters in what is sure to be a move welcomed by the IRFU. It is expected to cost in the region of €20 million. The expansion at the Ballsbridge venue is a move which …

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Ireland Wolfhounds Selection – Three Talking Points

The Ireland Wolfhounds face the England Saxons in Cork tonight in a tie which is attracting far greater interest than an Ireland A side is accustomed to.   The days of the Eddie O’Sullivan era where there was little debate surrounding team selection are a distant memory. As we are experiencing a second wind of the ‘Golden Generation’ of Irish rugby, …

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Ireland Wolfhounds Watch – Who Has The Most To Play For?

Has there been a more eagerly anticipated Ireland Wolfhounds game? So many players have so much riding on tonight. Here’s who to watch.    This evening the Ireland Wolfhounds host their English counterparts in a highly anticipated clash in what is the final step to the 2015 RBS 6 Nations. This game is a perfect appetiser, with a number of …

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Strauss: Competition For Places Is Driving Six Nations Squad On

Ireland hooker Richardt Strauss believes the competition for places in the squad is a driving the players on as Ireland face England Saxons tonight.   Strauss is one of four hookers in Joe Schmidt’s extended squad but Leinster’s South African born front row forward says he wouldn’t have it any other way. “That’s the way we would prefer it to …

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