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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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IRFU’s Special Player Project: A Waste of Time & Money?

“Hopefully when the time is right and if I’m playing good footy, hopefully I can play for the Ireland international team.” The words of Bundee Aki who recently signed a three-year deal with Connacht. The powerful centre who plies his trade with the Chiefs in Super Rugby at present, will add a cutting edge to the Western province’s backline, but …

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Irish Rugby Player Rankings – Week Ending 11/05/2014

It was the final round of fixtures in the Rabo Direct Pro 12 last weekend. Leinster were given a scare by plucky Edinburgh, Munster put in a woeful performance against an inexperienced Ulster side who won by two points and Connacht finished their campaign with a whimper, losing to the Ospreys by 25 points. With the season winding down, the …

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The PA Guide To Munster’s New Signing Tyler Bleyendaal

Munster have announced the signing of promising 23-year-old New Zealander Tyler Bleyendaal as they look to strengthen their squad for next season. However, don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of the young star, we’re here to enlighten you. Here is your Pundit Arena guide to Tyler Bleyendaal. 1. Tyler Bleyendaal was born in Christchurch in 1990 and will celebrate …

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Greatest Heineken Cup Players Of All Time: 4. Paul O’Connell

No countdown of European rugby greats could exclude Munster’s man-mountain, Paul O’Connell. Coming in at number four, POC epitomises the ‘Stand Up and Fight’ mantra of Munster rugby. 4. Paul O’Connell (Munster) Figures don’t come more foreboding than the giant frame of Munster icon Paul O’Connell. The current Irish captain, and three time British and Irish Lion is one of the …

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Rugby: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not?

Who’s Hot Andrew Trimble The Coleraine man has had a stellar season which was recognised with him sweeping up at the Ulster and Ireland rugby award ceremonies. Trimble was named IRUPA Players Player of the year for his magnificent Six Nations campaign. Ulster will be hoping for two more brilliant showings by the winger in their pursuit of Pro 12 …

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The Gain Line: Florian Fritz & The Duty of Care

In a damning article, Brendan Kelly slams the IRB and demands that the issue of concussion in rugby be dealt with appropriately before it is too late. On Friday night Racing Metro 92 travelled to Stade Toulousain for the barrages round of the Top14. Earlier in the season it looked fairly unlikely that the Parisians would reach this stage but …

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