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TBT: 2013 Six Nations

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, David Gantly looks back at the Six Nations 2013 campaign. With the 2014 Six Nations tournament now just weeks away, excitement is reaching boiling point. Can Ireland improve on last year’s poor performance under the stewardship of Joe Schmidt? Can England continue to improve and challenge for the title? Which French side will turn up? …

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2014 Six Nations Preview

Sean O’Neill ponders the prospects for the 2014 Six Nations Championship. This year’s Six Nations Championship appears as if it will be one of the most highly contested tournaments in years.  The gap in quality between the stronger sides and weaker sides has narrowed significantly in recent years.  Expect close, tense and exciting games throughout the spring. The theory that …

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London Irish: London by birth, Irish by the grace of God

As London Irish begin a return to their core values backed by a consortium of Irish businessmen, Matt Cassidy considers The Exiles’ future. “Na Gael Londain, mo chuisle” is written on the walls, The Fields of Athenry rings out round the stadium on match days and their mascot, Digger, is an Irish wolfhound.  London Irish is an English club with …

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Rugby: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

Matt Cassidy brings us the heroes and zeros from this weekend’s epic rugby encounters. Who’s Hot Irish Rugby Four matches, four wins for the four provinces in the Heineken Cup this weekend. Although the performances may not have been of the highest quality, apart from Munster, the result is all important at this stage in the competition. Ulster and Munster …

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PA Preview: Gloucester vs Munster

Dominic Evans previews this weekend’s massive clash between two old foes; Gloucester and Munster. The previous match in a Heineken Cup pool between Gloucester and Munster provided a classic encounter in 2003, later dubbed ‘The Miracle Match’. Munster required a bonus point win along with a margin of at least 27 points. ‘The Red Army’ won 33-6, and also ending …

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Heineken Cup Round 5 Preview

Ozer McMahon previews a hugely important Heineken Cup weekend for the Irish provinces. The penultimate round in a golfing tournament is often referred to as “moving day”, when players in contention for the ultimate prize, either position themselves accordingly for their shot at victory or fall by the wayside. Well this weekend of Heineken Cup action has that “moving day” …

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Irish Rugby: Strength In Depth?

Joe Schmidt will undoubtedly be scrutinising the Heineken Cup performances of those on the periphery of his Irish Rugby squad in the coming weeks, writes Dominic Evans. The upcoming two weeks see the return of the Heineken Cup, as the tournament enters the final two rounds of the pool stages. For the four Irish provinces, qualification will be at the …

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Reflection on selection: Darren Cave a wronged player or northern whinger?

Matt Cassidy speaks about the international career, or lack thereof, of Ulsterman Darren Cave. “Unfortunately for me internationally the last few years haven’t gone that well and sometimes you wonder does the face not fit,” a frustrated Darren Cave stated in an interview a couple of weeks ago about his Ireland snub. At first inspection, the comments from the 26-year-old …

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The PA Sporting Week: Who’s hot and who’s not?

James Clancy takes us through this week’s edition of the ‘PA Sporting Week: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not’. Who’s hot? Ronan O’Gara A modern sportsman who is seeringly honest, making him that rarest of professionals. Thursday’s RTÉ documentary was of a similarly refreshingly open vein. Thanks for the insight and the memories ROG! Portuguese Government There aren’t many sportsmen whose …

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Five Talking Points From The Rugby Inter-Pros

After a bumper weekend of inter-provincial rugby, Ozer McMahon delivers from talking points from two titanic tussles. Christmas is a time of the year that throws up an abundance of gifts and surprises, both wanted and unwanted. It’s also a period that consists of a succession of quick fire Inter-provincial clashes that give supporters the chance to measure the strength …

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20 Questions with rising Ireland and Leinster star Peter Dooley

Pundit Arena’s Darragh Cleary managed to meet up with Leinster’s Peter Dooley for twenty quickfire questions. Peter Dooley is a 19 year old graduate of the Leinster rugby academy. As well as recently making his debut for Leinster ‘A’, Dooley was a key member of the Ireland U20 squad that performed admirably at last years IRB U20 World Cup, defeating …

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TBT: Ronan O’ Gara – A True Great

For this week’s Throwback Thursday, Dave Gantly looks back at the illustrious career of Ireland great Ronan O’Gara. Arguably Ireland’s all time greatest fly half, Ronan O’ Gara’s time in an Irish shirt was filled with highs and lows. From winning the Grand Slam for Ireland with a last minute drop goal to cruelly being dropped from the Irish squad, …

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Six Contenders To Replace Jonny Sexton If The Unthinkable Occurred

On Sunday the 2nd of February Ireland kick off their Six Nations campaign against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium. Jonny Sexton is Ireland’s nailed on starting fly half but what if the unthinkable happened and Monsieur Jonny got injured? Who would be the Racing Metro man’s potential replacement? 1. Paddy Jackson The young Ulster man, with five caps, has gone …

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The PA Sporting Week: Who’s hot and who’s not?

James Clancy gives us this week’s heroes and zeros from the world of sport. WHO’S HOT… Tom Huddlestone:   The Hull midfielder had refused to cut his hair until he broke his two-year goal drought. On Saturday afternoon, he did just that with a strike for Hull City against Fulham at the KC Stadium. It was the first time he scored …

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PA’s Top 5 Irish Sporting Moments of 2013

It’s that time of year; Christmas parties, yuletide joy and all sorts of Top 10/Top 5 lists of the year. A Top 10 list may have diluted the quality somewhat, so here are James Clancy’s Top 5 Irish Sporting Moments of 2013: 5. Conor McGregor keeps unbeaten UFC record intact Dubliner McGregor had just two fights during 2013 but they …

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A thorn in Ireland’s side?

Northampton’s stunning 18-9 victory over Leinster last weekend shows a glimpse into the future without the English clubs, writes Dominic Evans. The Heineken Cup as we know will be very different next year. Mark McCafferty, CEO of Premiership Rugby, has stated the intentions of the English clubs are “pursuing other options”. While much has been written on how the English …

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