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Ireland’s Backrow Power Rankings

European Rugby Champions Cup Round 2, Thomond Park, Limerick 22/10/2016 Munster vs Glasgow Warriors Munster's Peter O'Mahony applauds the crowd as he leaves the pitch Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Competition for the Irish backrow has arguably never been stronger. There was Anthony Foley, Alan Quinlan, Denis Leamy, Simon Easterby and David Wallace all competing for spots in the mid-2000s. Stephen Ferris, Jamie Heaslip, Wallace and Sean O’Brien battled for positions in the build-up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup, while Peter O’Mahony quickly succeeded Ferris after the fallout of that …

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Watch: Leinster Denied Try By Football-Style Sliding Tackle

European Rugby Champions Round 6, Stade Pierre Antoine, Castres, France 20/1/2017 Castres Olympique vs Leinster Leinster's Rory O’Loughlin scores a try that was later disallowed Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

On Friday night Leinster played out an enthralling draw with Castres that left both sides battered and bruised. A game-winning try was crucially denied by the TMO after a football-style sliding tackle from Pierre Bérard. During a rumbustious first half Johnny Sexton yet again confirmed to his critics that he lacks the ability to stay injury-free as he was unable to …

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Munster’s Rassie Erasmus Has Addressed Those Worrying Springboks Rumours

Success brings opportunity and for Munster’s Director of Rugby Johan ‘Rassie’ Erasmus, it has led to rumours of a potential move home to take over from current Springboks head coach Allister Coetzee. According to Rugby365, Erasmus was reported to be headed to his homeland ‘soon’ for discussions with the South Africa Rugby Union about potentially replacing Coetzee following a dismal …

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Ireland Face Massive Injury Concern Ahead Of Six Nations

In this week's edition of The Oval Office Podcast, we speak to the Pro12 Communications Director Adam Redmond, who outlines how the league will evolve in the coming seasons. https://soundcloud.com/punditarenarugby/we-speak-to-the-pro12-communications-director-adam-redmond-and-cover-all-the-recent-rugby-action

Ireland’s Six Nations preparations have been halted somewhat after Johnny Sexton was forced off the field during Leinster’s European Rugby Champions Cup match against Castres on Friday night. The fly-half limped off the field 22 minutes into Leinster’s 24-24 draw with the French side with a calf injury, raising concerns over his availability ahead of the Six Nations. Indeed, while the …

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Robbie Henshaw Dazzles While Antoine Dupont Makes French Selectors Take Notice

Leinster were the first team to wrap up qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions Cup when they obliterated Montpellier 57-3 at the RDS last Friday. The three-time European champions demolished Jake White’s side to secure qualification, and assert themselves as a genuine contender in the process, but against a Castres side with nothing to play for, the Irish …

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Gregor Townsend Hints That Munster May Be Trying To Create A Distraction From Concussion Investigation

Glasgow Warriors coach Gregor Townsend has hit back at Munster and Conor Murray after the Irish province criticised his side for their charge down tactics after Munster’s 14-12 win over Glasgow last weekend. Murray felt that Glasgow’s players intentionally targeted his standing leg any time he went to kick the ball from the base of the ruck. The Ireland scrum-half said that …

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British And Irish Lions 2017: Outside Centre Options

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03: Jonathan Joseph of England passes the ball during the Old Mutual Wealth Series match between England and Australia at Twickenham Stadium on December 3, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

In the eleventh article in this series, we analyse the options Warren Gatland has at outside centre for the British and Irish Lions 2017 tour of New Zealand. This article will attempt to conclude which two outside centres are the best options for Gatland to select in his initial squad, with the list including a mixture of experience and youth …

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Frank Quinn Column: The Pro12 Looks Set To Dominate The Champions Cup Quarter-Final Line Up

Glasgow Warriors v Munster Rugby - European Rugby Champions Cup

Although Munster are home and hosed with a game to spare, Rassie Erasmus will be leaving nothing to chance in their last pool match against Racing 92. The opportunity to claim a home quarter-final in Thomond Park so as to swell the province’s financial coffers, and to further foster the positive atmosphere that currently surrounds Munster Rugby has unexpectantly become available. …

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Watch: Brian O’Driscoll Cheekily Says What Everyone Is Thinking About Ronan O’Gara And Munster

It is no secrets that Ireland and Munster legend Ronan O’Gara maintains a very strong affinity with the Thomond Park based side, despite now being assistant coach at Top 14 side Racing 92. Since his retirement as a player in 2013, O’Gara has been with the Paris team and is currently contracted with last seasons Champions Cup finalists until 2019. …

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British and Irish Lions 2017: Inside Centre Options

Guinness Series, Soldier Field, Chicago, USA 5/11/2016 Ireland vs New Zealand Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw is tackled by New Zealand All Blacks’s Aaron Cruden

The tenth article in a series analyses the options Warren Gatland has at inside centre for the British and Irish Lions 2017 tour of New Zealand. Five centres were chosen for the 2013 Lions tour of Australia, with Owen Farrell filling the 12 jersey on occasion (even though he was chosen as a fly-half). With it being expected that Farrell …

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