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Irish Rugby Player Rankings – Week Ending 18/05/2014

It was Semi-Final weekend in the RaboDirect Pro12 and three Irish Provinces were in action. On Friday, Munster travelled to Glasgow and lost out by a single point in a hugely entertaining game. Leinster overcame a mammoth challenge from Ulster at the RDS on Saturday in an enthralling game. Here are the top 10 Irish players from these games. 10: …

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Greatest Heineken Cup Players Of All Time: 2. Brian O’Driscoll

This man needs no introduction. Coming in at number two on our countdown is one of the greatest rugby players in the  history of the sport. We give you, Leinster legend Brian O’Driscoll. No.2 Brian O’Driscoll What can be said about Brian O’Driscoll that hasn’t been said before? One of the greatest rugby players of all time and the most capped …

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Zebo In, Madigan Out as Schmidt Names Squad For Summer Tour

Ian Madigan’s week went from ecstasy to agony in less than 48 hours, with the Dubliner being omitted from Joe Schmidt’s thirty-man squad to tour Argentina next month. Madigan was the hero for Leinster in their superb 13-9 turnaround win at the RDS on Saturday night, but Joe Schmidt has decided to leave the Dubliner at home this summer, instead opting for …

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Greatest Heineken Cup Players Of All Time: 3. Fabien Pelous

Our countdown is nearing its climax and coming in at number three is the legendary French second row Fabien Pelous. 3. Fabien Pelous (Toulouse) No matter how stylish or fluent a team is, every outfit that craves success needs an enforcer. Few players fitted this bill more than Toulouse second row Fabien Pelous. While Guy Noves has held the management reins …

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Matt O’Connor Delighted With Leinster’s Adversity

Matt O’Connor expressed his delight with the character shown by his Leinster side as they overturned a nine-point deficit to topple Ulster at the RDS and reach this year’s RaboDirect Pro12 Final. While Leinster once again failed to perform for large periods of the game, their ability to clutch victory from the jaws of defeat is a characteristic of all …

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Rugby: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not

Who’s Hot Ian Madigan The strutting peacock that is the Leinster flyhalf rescued the Blues from a shock defeat over Irish rivals Ulster with a dart over the try line. It has been a frustrating season for the Blackrock man who has found his opportunities limited due to Matt O’Connor’s preference for Jimmy Gopperth. However, Madigan’s magic may just be …

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Leinster v Ulster: Five Talking Points from the RDS

Matt Cassidy is here to discuss the main talking points following Leinster’s victory over Ulster at the RDS on Saturday night. The second Pro12 semi –final was an all Irish affair as Leinster welcomed Ulster to the RDS. Glasgow were awaiting the victors of the tie courtesy of deposing Munster by one point the evening before. Leinster were looking to …

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Jimmy Gopperth and Ian Madigan could both start Rabo Final

Leinster showed grit and determination worthy of true champions to overcome a spirited Ulster side and progress to this year’s RaboDirect Pro12 Final at the RDS. In the post match press conference, Matt O’Connor admitted that both Jimmy Gopperth and Ian Madigan could get starting berths for the final following some great link-up play. Despite going behind by nine points …

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RaboDirect Pro 12 Semi-Final Teams: Leinster vs Ulster

A huge game is in store at the RDS at 7pm on Saturday night when Leinster and Ulster lock horns for a place in the RaboDirect Pro12 Final. On paper, Leinster come into the game on the back of some good results. However, in reality Matt O’Connor’s side have flattered to deceive at times and will need to perform if …

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Friday’s Forgotten Star: Shane Geraghty

A lot of talk on the rugby pages of Pundit Arena over the last few months has revolved around Danny Cipriani and whether his form warranted an England recall or not. He was recalled earlier this week in what has been a big turnaround for what looked like was going to be the ‘golden boy’ of English rugby. Cipriani was …

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Eddie O’Sullivan & Biarritz: A Match Made in Heaven or Hell?

The news that Eddie O’Sullivan has taken over as head coach of Biarritz was met with shock in Irish rugby circles. Less than 24 hours before the announcement, O’Sullivan seemed set to finally return to the Irish scene as a backs coach at Munster, but ultimately the offer of the top gig at one of France’s most famous clubs proved …

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Top 14 Semi-Final Preview: Toulon vs Racing Metro 92

Billed as the battle of the big-bucks, two teams laden with the best of foreign talent go head to head on Friday as Toulon continue their quest for a domestic and European double. In spite of the star-studded squads, this looks likely to be a game of attrition, as both teams prefer to use their packs to maximum effect, and …

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Former Irish Rugby International Gavin Duffy Returns To GAA Roots

After 11 seasons with Connacht, Mayo native Gavin Duffy’s contract was not renewed this year and after a fifteen-year absence he is back training with the Mayo Senior Football squad. The 32-year-old has previously played minor with Mayo and was part of the team that lost the All-Ireland minor final to Down in 1999. The Mayo County Board last night released …

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Top 14 Semi-Final Preview: Montpellier vs Castres

Castres and Montpellier go head-to-head this Saturday in an exceptionally tight semi-final clash, with a place in the Top 14 Final up for grabs. This will be the 4th season in a row these teams meet in the play-offs and the previous two meetings have gone the way of Castres. Montpellier certainly have the edge looking at the season as a whole, …

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Danny Cipriani Recalled To England Rugby Fold

Controversial rugby star Danny Cipriani has been recalled to the England squad for the upcoming games against the Barbarians and the tour to New Zealand. Cipriani, 26, was signed as Sale’s marquee signing in 2013 following a successful season with the Melbourne Rebels in Australia and has not been involved in England duty since he earned his seventh cap back in …

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Top 14 Update: Crunch time for Jonny Sexton and co.

As the Top 14 reaches the business end of the season,we look back at the major talking points from the Quarter Finals and assess the key factors ahead of this weekend’s fixtures in the final four. A stellar weekend of rugby in the south of France saw two big names make uncharacteristically early exits from the Top 14. Two of …

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Leinster v Ulster: Five Key Battles To Watch At The RDS

Two weeks after their battle in Belfast, Leinster and Ulster clash once more in the Pro12 semi-final at the RDS. It will be the third time in four years that both of these teams have met each other in the end of season playoffs, with the Blues emerging victorious in the previous two encounters. As well as a place in …

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Five Key Aspects Munster Must Get Right in Glasgow

After 22 rounds of rugby the final four of the Pro 12 has been decided. On Friday night Munster travel to Scotstoun looking to make amends for their dreadful showing the week before against Ulster in Limerick. Their opponents, Glasgow Warriors, will be looking to create history as the first Scottish team to reach the final. 1. Accuracy If Rob …

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