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Reasons to be Cheerful – Schmidt, Swansongs and the Six Nations

Irish Rugby Team

Here at Pundit Arena, Six Nations fever has fully set in with the opening weekend just days away, writes Steve Neville. On Febuary 2nd, Ireland will welcome Scotland to the Aviva Stadium and Joe Schmidt will be hoping to celebrate his first Six Nations game with a win. It’s an interesting time to be an Irish Rugby fan. Our star players, …

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Six Nations: 6 Players To Watch

Jules Plisson Crop

The Six Nations Six To watch is brought to you by Ozer McMahon, who assesses the prospects for the tournament. As February nears and the evenings start to stretch ever so slightly, Northern Hemisphere rugby supporters gear themselves up for a feast of the most intense and tribal international rugby competition in the world. It’s only eight months since a …

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Irish Six Nations Squad: Six Talking Points

Ireland v France 3

Sandwiched between the two vital concluding rounds of the Heineken Cup, Joe Schmidt’s 6 Nations squad announcement slipped quietly into the public conscience, writes Ozer McMahon. By naming a forty-four man squad, Schmidt was able to dodge any major controversy by omitting any stand out names. While Simon Zebo and Craig Gilroy were initially excluded, they have since been called …

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Irish Rugby’s Forgotten Men; The Exiles.

Ireland v France scrum

Joe Schmidt named his 44-man extended squad for the Six Nations last Tuesday and as per usual, with an Irish selection, there were very few surprises, writes Matt Cassidy. There were chunks of Ulster and Munster, a sprinkling of Connacht and a lot of Leinster added to the Irish international stew. Did we expect anything else from an ex-Leinster coach? …

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Reasons to be Cheerful – Tullow Tank can set the trend

O' Brien's return will make for fierce competition in the Ireland pack.

This week’s reason to be cheerful centres around Irish rugby star Sean O’ brien and his decision to commit to Leinster for the foreseeable future. Sean O’ Brien spent weeks flirting with Toulon, then decided he would say “thank you for the wining and dining, but no thanks” and sign on for two more years at Leinster.   What a …

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Rugby: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not

Kieran Marmion

Who’s Hot Ruan Pienaar They say up at Ravenhill that “you know when you have been Ruaned!” and the Tigers will know what that means now. The South African steered the Ulster ship to a home quarter final with a perfect display, barely breaking sweat in the process. It was a real team effort on Saturday by the Ulstermen but …

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Irish Rugby: Provincial Powerhouses

Leinster In Game

Dominic Evans discusses the success experienced by the Irish provinces in this year’s Heineken Cup. After round 5 of the Heineken Cup there is a sense of a power shift in Europe. For the second time during this year’s competition, all four Irish provinces won. This season they are all genuine contenders (well, maybe not Connacht) to win the illustrious …

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TBT: 2013 Six Nations

Irish Rugby Team

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

Ireland v France

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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