Johnny Sexton played third Test against the All Blacks with broken wrist
Scans have revealed the extent to which Johnny Sexton bravely battled through the pain barrier during the Lions' third Test draw against New...
Scans have revealed the extent to which Johnny Sexton bravely battled through the pain barrier during the Lions' third Test draw against New...
The Guinness PRO12 is set to undergo wholesale changes in the coming season as it prepares to welcome two South African franchises into the competition.
We're not in the Celtic League anymore, that's for sure.
Although he refused to confirm the seemingly inevitable arrival of South African franchises Southern Kings and Cheetahs into the Guinness PRO12 from next season, IRFU chief executive...
IRFU chief executive Philip Browne has dismissed Pat Lam's criticism of the organisation's policy of including break clauses in coaches' contracts as he revealed that Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmsus told his employers he was leaving in the spring; months before his departure was announced.
The 2016/17 campaign may have reached a conclusion on Saturday but the problems for Leinster and Ireland continue to mount ahead of next season after Garry Ringrose (pictured) was yesterday ruled out for up to five months after undergoing surgery on his shoulder.
As the Lions leave New Zealand having drawn a memorable series with the All Blacks, Ruaidhri O’Connor rates their individual performances
The clown nose was gone and the official garb swapped for civvies, but when Warren Gatland reported to the team hotel to fulfil his final media engagement of the tour yesterday he was in defiant mood.
At the end of 240 minutes of the most intense, aggressive and high-stakes rugby, the two teams were left wondering what to make of it all and the referee was once again the centre of attention.
Leinster and Ireland have been left counting the cost of a bruising Lions tour as they fret on injuries suffered by Sean O'Brien and Johnny Sexton in Saturday's final-Test draw.
He is looking forward to getting home to Wexford and tidying up some niggly injuries, but there must be part of Tadhg Furlong that wishes this season would never end.
When the final whistle sounded, the cauldron melted. Players in red and in black sank to their knees and an eerie silence descended over this...
Steve Hansen opted not to criticise referee Romain Poite for his controversial call to downgrade a potentially decisive penalty to a scrum in the closing stages of yesterday's epic 15-15 draw...
It is easy, particularly when experienced through the prism of Sky Sports' hyperbole, to dismiss the Lions. As a concept it is archaic and out of sync with the modern game; it is squeezed on the schedule and increasingly difficult to pull together from an administrative and coaching point of view.
Sean O’Brien admits he feared the worst when he was cited after last Saturday’s second Test win over New Zealand, but believes the right decision was reached by the judicial panel.
Johnny Sexton reckons the Lions are getting the best out of a fit and firing Sean O'Brien.
Warren Gatland believes New Zealand are on the back foot ahead of tomorrow's decisive third Test in Auckland as he warned his Lions not to get 'caught with their pants down' as Ireland did in November.
They've already got three All Blacks in the house, but tomorrow's game is set to be a special occasion for the Barrett clan, once of Co Meath, as they prepare to watch Beauden, Scott and Jordie in black.
The plates have shifted beneath this series. Suddenly, Steve Hansen is talking in terms of a great All Black transition and Warren Gatland is claiming he's barely glanced at the New Zealand team-sheet.
Although four years ago the series came down to a dominant Lions performance against Australia in the final Test, the recent history of Lions suggests the kickers will have a say in how Saturday's decider will pan out.
Steve Hansen has made a big gamble for the decisive final Test of the Lions series by shaking up his backline and introducing relative newcomer Jordie Barrett at full-back.
They trained beneath The Remarkables mountains yesterday and the rest writes itself for a bunch of men on the verge of sporting history.
The Lions are expecting New Zealand to pick 20-year-old Jordie Barrett at full-back for Saturday’s series decider in Auckland, but they have their own concerns at No 15 after Liam Williams failed to finish training Queenstown this morning.
His name rang out around Wellington's Cake Tin to the tune of 'Seven Nation Army' last Saturday night, he has been hailed as a superstar by all and sundry but it turns out Maro Itoje isn't excellent at everything.
Leinster, Ulster and potentially Ireland are counting the cost of the Lions tour of New Zealand after the full extent of Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payne's injuries were revealed yesterday.
The Lions have confirmed that Jared Payne will not re-join the squad ahead of the final Test after remaining in Wellington to undergo tests.
The full extent of Robbie Henshaw’s injury has been revealed as Lions head of medicine Dr Eanna Falvey predicted he will miss the start of next season as a result of the surgery he underwent in Dublin yesterday.
He is two from four against the All Blacks, a record most Irish players can only dream of, but Tadhg Furlong says the aura still exists.
Whether it was the five new caps to face Scotland in 2000; selecting 13 Ospreys for his first Six Nations game with Wales; or his dropping of Brian O'Driscoll and Peter O'Mahony, Warren Gatland has always been fond of a big selection call.
The hype around the Lions is too often over-done, but on the back of a special night in Wellington this group of players have history in their grasp.
Sean O'Brien is free to play in Saturday's series decider in Auckland after his citing for foul play was thrown out.
Perhaps, just perhaps, the All Blacks' humanity is revealing itself.
Those who spent the week sticking a red nose on Warren Gatland's face ended up with red faces in the end and the Lions coach wasn't about to let them forget it.
Conor Murray has urged his Lions colleagues to keep their cool and deliver a series win in Auckland next Saturday after playing a leading role in yesterday's historic victory over New Zealand in Wellington.
The Lions will go to Auckland for a final Test decider with a chance of just their second series win after a night of controversy and drama in Wellington.
Given the freedom and joy with which he played the game, it is difficult to envisage how Christian Cullen ever fell out of love with rugby but when the injuries finally curtailed his career the game lost its lustre.
Johnny Sexton has admitted he needs to tone down his approach to referees ahead of the Lions’ second Test against New Zealand in Wellington.
New Zealand captain Kieran Read has warned the Lions that his side intend to up their game even further in tomorrow’s second Test in Wellington.
Warren Gatland has re-shuffled his pack but it is Steve Hansen who holds the aces.
Peter O'Mahony spoke of his Lions dream after being selected to captain the side for last week's first Test, but he is in nightmare territory having been stripped of that leadership role and dropped from the match-day 23 altogether for tomorrow's game.
After a week dominated by the back and forth between the two head coaches, Steve Hansen attempted to diffuse matters by chastising the New Zealand Herald for their depiction of Warren Gatland as a clown and praising his opposite number's character and coaching credentials.
Johnny Sexton is in the All Black firing line after being recalled to the Lions starting XV for the pivotal second Test of the series tomorrow.
Robbie Henshaw could miss the start of next season after undergoing surgery on his torn pectoral muscle.
Warren Gatland says the decision to drop Peter O’Mahony from his match-day 23 for Saturday’s second Test as a “tough” call and said the Munster flanker was unlucky to miss out.
Johnny Sexton will start at out-half for the Lions against New Zealand in Saturday’s pivotal second Test in Auckland, joining Owen Farrell in a 10/12 axis as Warren Gatland goes for broke in search of a series win.
Robbie Henshaw’s Lions tour is over after scans revealed he tore his pectoral muscle when playing against the Hurricanes on Tuesday and will return home this weekend.
He was formed as a coach in the Munster dressing-room, now Jason 'Dutchy' Holland is in the greatest finishing school the game has to offer - the New Zealand system.
Johnny Sexton will start at out-half for the Lions against New Zealand in Saturday's pivotal second Test, joining Owen Farrell in a 10/12 axis as Warren Gatland goes for broke in search of a series win.
Lightning quick ball (LQB) is the key metric by which the All Blacks gauge success. It represents ball produced in three seconds or less at ruck-time and experience tells them that if they achieve between 45-50pc of LQB across a Test match they expect to win.
He was the best player on the pitch, but a moment of indiscipline and the pre-determined plans of Warren Gatland suggest that Iain Henderson will have to wait another week at least to become a Test Lion.
Robbie Henshaw's Lions adventure appears to be over after he was forced off with a shoulder injury during yesterday's draw against the Hurricanes in Wellington.
Warren Gatland's Tuesday began with him presumably choking on his porridge at the sight of himself depicted - for the second time - as a clown on the front page of a national daily newspaper and ended with him admitting that pressure from former players and the media forced his hand on a major selection decision.
The Lions’ dirt-trackers signed off with a hard-fought, entertaining draw in Wellington as they weathered the Hurricanes’ late storm.
Jerome Kaino, the All Black at the centre of the controversial targeting of Conor Murray in last week’s first Test against the Lions, has denied the charge that he intentionally set out to injury the Ireland scrum-half.
They held their counsel and stayed respectful for a couple of days, but the truce between Warren Gatland and Steve Hansen simply couldn't hold and the rival coaches were at each others' throats in the media once again yesterday.
The little things stand out for John Plumtree as he reflects on his season with Joe Schmidt and the Ireland team. Sure, there was Six Nations glory, but some of the most memorable moments came away from the pitch.
Steve Hansen has phoned a New Zealand radio station to hit back at Warren Gatland's claims that his players dangerously targeted Conor Murray during Saturday's first Test in Auckland.
At the end of the epic first-half at Eden Park on Saturday, Conor Murray and Peter O'Mahony approached Jaco Peyper for a mini conference. The ref mic had been turned off but the scrum-half could be clearly seen pointing at his knee.
The selection for the first Test has added to the interest in this final mid-week game. If two starters from that win over the Chiefs could force their way into the starting team last Saturday, then there is a chance that others can do the same tomorrow.
The All Blacks are likely to be without full-back Ben Smith and centre Ryan Crotty for Saturday's second Test in Wellington.
The prospects of CJ Stander or Iain Henderson propelling themselves into the Lions’ starting XV for Saturday’s second Test lessened this morning as both men were pressed into service for Tuesday’s final mid-week game against the Hurricanes.
To beat the best you have to be the best version of yourselves and hope that they have an off day. The Lions scored a wonderful try and played some fine rugby in patches, but you can't win in New Zealand with a pack that goes backwards, and they were bullied by the world champions' least heralded unit.
Israel Dagg has warned the Lions that the All Blacks will be even better next week when they'll look to clinch the series in Wellington. The winger, an influential figure in yesterday's 30-15 win at Eden Park, believes his side will improve on their opening performance in which they out-scored the tourists three tries to two having out-muscled them up front.
The Lions roared, but the All Blacks just did their thing and took the lead in the series thanks to their superior ability to turn pressure into points.
Conor Murray says tomorrow’s first Test between his Lions side and New Zealand at Eden Park is the biggest game of his career.
The rise and rise of Tadhg Furlong continues. Campile, Co Wexford's first Lion may only be a full international less than two years, but of all of Ireland's contingent, he slept easiest this week. Perhaps only Conor Murray was more sure of his place.
There is no build-up like Lions build-up. Months of squad-picking, points-scoring and performance assessment ultimately leads to tomorrow morning's opener at Eden Park.
Joe Schmidt has hailed new Lions captain Peter O'Mahony as the Corkman prepares to lead the tourists into battle against New Zealand in tomorrow's first Test.
The last time the All Blacks failed to win a game at Eden Park, Sean Fitzpatrick was captain and Maro Itoje wasn't even born.
Lions scrum coach Graham Rowntree has hailed Peter O'Mahony's leadership credentials after the PBC, Cork Constitution, Munster and Ireland blindside was selected to lead the Lions into Saturday's first Test against New Zealand.
Peter O'Mahony was born to lead rugby teams. From an early age, coaches identified his capacity to captain sides, and at every level of the game he has been chosen for the role.
PETER O’MAHONY will lead the Lions into their daunting first Test battle with New Zealand on Saturday, but Johnny Sexton will have to bide his time on the bench after Warren Gatland opted for the ballast of Ben Te’o in his midfield.
It was the game none of the Lions players wanted to be involved in and a fixture the management could have done without, but in the end it was a worthwhile exercise for the tourists.
The Lions returned to their Auckland base last night in a far better place than they were in when they left 13 days ago on the back of their loss to the Blues.
Warren Gatland announces his Lions team for the first Test against New Zealand at 8pm tonight (Irish time) with Peter O'Mahony likely to be named captain of the side.
The Lions’ midweek team have joined the party and a happy camp will wind its way to Auckland tonight ahead of Saturday’s series opener thanks to the biggest win of the tour to date.
Officially, the Lions coaches will meet tomorrow to discuss their selection for the first Test, but this team has actually been months in the making.
The first boat over the 7m waterfall was made up of two Englishmen, one Scotsman and this Irishman; all paddling in unison and with a common purpose.
Kieran Keane was not too enthusiastic about discussing his upcoming move to Ireland this week as he focuses on his current job with the Waikato Chiefs and this morning's clash with the Lions, but from the sounds of things the western province can get excited about their new man.
Andy Farrell says he would have no reservations if Peter O'Mahony was chosen to lead the Lions in the first Test against New Zealand on Saturday, but stopped short of fully endorsing the Ireland blindside's credentials.
There was nothing in the Lions' mission statement that said they had to beat the All Blacks at their own game.
Nothing focuses the mind like Test week and as soon as his team had comfortably dismissed the Maori All Blacks with a display packed with power and tactical awareness, Warren Gatland turned his attention to Steve Hansen and his All Blacks.
The prospect of Peter O'Mahony leading the Lions in the first Test grew yesterday as Warren Gatland picked Alun Wyn Jones on his bench for the midweek game against the Chiefs.
The Lions are turning up the heat on New Zealand ahead of this week's Test series opener at Eden Park as Warren Gatland suggested Steve Hansen is a worried man and Johnny Sexton claimed the world champions are under pressure to replicate the 'Black-wash' of 2005.
In the build-up to yesterday morning's game against the Maori All Blacks, Warren Gatland said Johnny Sexton had gotten his mojo back. By the sounds of things the outhalf doesn't believe it ever went missing.
Lions coach Warren Gatland believes Steve Hansen is worried about the impending Test series as he expressed his disappointment with the constant barbs emanating from the All Black camp ahead of the Test Series.
The volcanic springs around Rotorua lend a certain sulphuric odour to the place, but that was nothing on the stench that hung over the Lions before this morning’s game as Warren Gatland came in for fierce criticism for parachuting four Welsh and two Scottish players into his squad on the basis of their proximity.
Location, location, location. Warren Gatland knows he’s about to get it in the neck having called six players up to his Lions squad on the basis of proximity and he’s banking on Test success eradicating the memory just as it did four years ago.
Any Leinster fans who have been getting up early to catch a glimpse of their incoming Kiwi signing James Lowe in Super Rugby will already be excited.
After watching his New Zealand side run in 12 tries in an impressive 78-0 hammering of Samoa, Steve Hansen continued to apply pressure on Lions coach Warren Gatland ahead of the Test series between the two sides.
Situated on the south-eastern coast of New Zealand's South Island, Dunedin is the furthest city from Dublin in the world: 19,141km separate the places, and it takes more than 30 hours over three at least flights to get from one to the other. It is, it is fair to say, a long way from home.
Sean O'Brien never had any doubt that Johnny Sexton was going to recover his form ahead of the Lions Test series, but stepped in with a bit of brotherly love for his long-time Leinster and Ireland team-mate who leads the tourist's backline tomorrow night.
It seems Steve Hansen has the inside line as to what’s happening in the Lions camp as Warren Gatland prepares to call for reinforcements ahead of the Test series against New Zealand.
The Lions' preparations for the first Test against New Zealand tomorrow week have been disrupted by an injury to nailed-on starter Owen Farrell who has been withdrawn from the clash with the Maori All Blacks.
The two players Warren Gatland could ill afford to lose from his playing party were Billy Vunipola and Owen Farrell.
If rugby captaincy was a video game, Peter O'Mahony would have now completed it. When put to him that the Lions leadership means he's skippered every team he's ever been a part of yesterday, his response was: "Yep, pretty much".
All Black coach Steve Hansen has continued to gently poke at his Lions opposite number Warren Gatland today, pre-emptively suggesting that the tourists are about to call for re-inforcements and stating that there is a gulf in class between the weekend and mid-week teams.
With Owen Farrell now a major doubt for the first Test between the Lions and New Zealand in a week’s time, the door has opened for Johnny Sexton to nail down what seemed like an unlikely starting spot two weeks ago.
Warren Gatland had billed tomorrow’s game against the Maori All Blacks as a Test dress rehearsal, but the head coach threw a curve-ball over-night by starting Johnny Sexton and benching Owen Farrell.
The All Blacks are always a serious bunch, but if anyone thought they were taking the Lions, lightly they got their answer last night when Steve Hansen named his team to face Samoa.
The Lions will insist that this is just another bump on the road, a "hiccup" as Rory Best put it, but in terms of deflating the momentum of Saturday's win over the Crusaders, this collapse was pretty effective.
Rory Best has described the nature of the Lions' loss to the Otago Highlanders as unacceptable.
We thought we had left the quake zone behind us when we moved south from Christchurch to Dunedin, but it seems the Lions squad has a fault line running right through it.
This is quickly becoming a tour of two teams. After the Test team got the show on the road with a win in Christchurch, the dirt-trackers let the side down in Dunedin.
If you thought travelling, preparing and playing during the relentless schedule of a Lions tour was a challenge, try Iain Henderson's post-tour itinerary.
Amid Warren Gatland's regular squabbles with the local media, the endless travel and seemingly every-day routine of playing or preparing for a game, the Lions have somehow managed to begin building towards the Test series.
Although Warren Gatland was clearly stung by the criticism that greeted his side's uninspiring first week in New Zealand, it seems he's done a good job of insulating his players from the grief.
If Sam Warburton was rattled in any way by Sean O'Brien's performance in Christchurch on Saturday morning, the Lions captain wasn't showing it.
World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry has hailed Conor Murray as "probably the best scrum-half in the world" after his performance against the Crusaders.
World Cup winning coach Graham Henry has hailed Conor Murray as the best scrum-half in the world after his performance against the Crusaders on Saturday morning.
Christchurch was not the place the Lions wanted to be going in desperate search of momentum. The Crusaders were unbeaten in 14 Super Rugby matches this season, averaging five tries a game and finding new ways to get out of tight encounters under their impressive young coach Scott Robertson.
The Lions have finally arrived in New Zealand. A team that had a distinctly Test match feel about it delivered in spades in Christchurch, ending the Crusaders 14-match 100pc record and breathing life into their tour.