'There's a lot more in this team' - Larmour issues warning to Euro rivals as Leinster 'attack' title defence
Wasps have been well and truly filleted and already Leinster's ravenous eyes have moved on to the big beasts of Toulouse.
Wasps have been well and truly filleted and already Leinster's ravenous eyes have moved on to the big beasts of Toulouse.
Lawrence Dallaglio reckons they're the closest thing to the All Blacks in club rugby, Luke Fitzgerald...
Toulouse have been hit with a double-blow ahead of Sunday's clash with Leinster after All Black Jerome Kaino and prop Lucas Pointud were served with bans yesterday.
When the Leinster and Toulouse ships met in the 2010 European semi-final, the kingpins put the most recent European champions in their place and moved on to collect their fourth title.
Munster centre Sammy Arnold returned home yesterday after spending Saturday night in hospital as a precaution.
As champions, the broadcasters gave Leinster the honour of kicking off this edition of the Heineken Champions Cup and they responded by sending a chilling message to the rest of Europe with an eight-try demolition of Wasps.
Four years ago, a piece of news began to break into the public domain that simply couldn't occur in Irish rugby. After 147 years in the greater London area, Wasps were moving to the English Midlands to take up residency at Coventry City's Ricoh Arena, 80 miles from their previous home in High Wycombe.
An orange weather warning hangs over the city and Wasps are on red alert ahead of their outing at the RDS.
Rob Kearney says Leinster are more than capable of repeating the feat of winning all of their Heineken Champions Cup games en route to retaining their title.
Dan Goggin's performance against Leinster last weekend suggested the centre will have a big role to play in Munster's season, even if he is not a guaranteed starter this weekend.
Once again, a province turns its hopeful eyes to Duncan Williams in a time of scrum-half need.
Munster winger Keith Earls has suggested Leinster star James Lowe went down easily in the pivotal incident that led to referee Ben Whitehouse awarding a penalty try to Leinster and sending...
Munster have a potential scrum-half crisis on their hands ahead of Saturday's Heineken Champions Cup opener away to Exeter Chiefs.
This was the third time in a row that Leinster have been able to rest Johnny Sexton and beat Munster - Thomond Park, the RDS and now the Aviva.
Johann van Graan remains unable to say whether scrum-half Conor Murray could feature for Munster in either of their upcoming Champions Cup...
With Tadhg Beirne and Peter O'Mahony working in tandem, anything looks possible for Munster.
It came down to a 22-phase set deep in Munster territory where Joey Carbery's team-mates saved his blushes with a superb defensive effort. But this draw was about so much more than that.
Munster centre Sammy Arnold has been taken to hospital with a throat injury he suffered during his team's 10-10 draw against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.
Last season, Munster began their European campaign with an away draw in France and left Castres frustrated.
There must be part of Munster that is relishing the journey to Sandy Park this afternoon. Against an English opponent, they are being largely written off despite the fact that they were semi-finalists in this competition last season and have far more European pedigree than their hosts.
Conor Murray is set to become one of the biggest earners on the IRFU payroll next season after signing a three-year deal to remain with Munster until 2022.
With Leinster back at the top of the tree and Heineken's name on the cup once again, there is a nostalgic feel about European rugby as the competition gets going in Dublin tomorrow.
He is already, without question, Ireland's greatest scrum-half and by committing his long-term future to Munster Conor Murray can now focus on building a legacy as one of Ireland's greatest players full stop.
In the late summer of 2009, London Irish arrived in Dublin for a pre-season clash with Leinster.
During the heady days of the 2015/'16 season, Connacht brought their show on the road and arrived at the Aviva Stadium with a big vision for the future.
Munster’s miserable relationship with the Aviva Stadium continues after a spirited effort came up short once again.
Ten men hold the key to the bragging rights on offer in Ballsbridge this evening.
Leo Cullen has explained his decision to heavily rotate his team for tomorrow’s clash with Munster at the Aviva Stadium.
Connacht yesterday cancelled their deal to sign Fijian winger Sevu Reece after his appearance in court on a domestic violence charge in New Zealand this week.
The word out of Leinster this week is that this fixture doesn't matter as much as it used to. That should sting Munster more than anything.
The expected lack of stardust on display does not appear to have dampened the public's enthusiasm for tomorrow's Aviva Stadium meeting of Leinster and Munster as it approaches a sell-out.
It is not often you are afforded another chance at a big strategic decision, but at the end of last season Leinster got to replace Isa Nacewa for the second time. This time, however, Nacewa won't be coming back to bail them out.
Rory Best's bid to make next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan will begin on Friday as the 36-year-old Ireland captain makes his Ulster return to action against Connacht.
In the 70th minute of Saturday's win over Connacht in Galway, James Lowe took the ball from Luke McGrath from first receiver off a clean lineout take.
He has danced this dance too many times before to feel any sense of novelty. Returning to play is just part of the cycle of Seán O'Brien's rugby-playing life.
Johnny Sexton could sit out Leinster's clash with Munster on Saturday as the province manage the six-day lead-in to their European opener against Wasps.
By the look of Ulster's selection, Munster will collect another home win this weekend without really finding out where they stand.
The "no" goes on for several seconds and gets louder as Leo Cullen leans back against the door in mock horror.
As far back as 2010, Michael Cheika was raising a flag for the future of the interprovincial derbies as he contemplated making a trip to Munster without a number of his leading lights.
He hasn't passed a ball in anger in the 2018/19 season, yet Conor Murray is managing to dominate the news agenda like few others this September.
Whether deliberate or not, Munster got their good news in early this week by announcing Jean Kleyn's new three-year deal.
Despite his ongoing absence through injury, the IRFU will attempt to secure the future of star scrum-half Conor Murray with a bumper deal.
For most of his career, Johnny Sexton managed to avoid these kind of get-togethers. Captaincy has its less glamorous side and tournament launches are way down the pecking order.
LAST year's success will count for nothing in Leinster’s title defence according to coach Leo Cullen and captain Johnny Sexton.
South African powerhouse Jean Kleyn has committed his future to Munster in a move that paves the way for him to play for Ireland.
As the evenings shorten and the temperature drops, so the rugby season takes another step towards the important business.
Scott Fardy is not ruling out the possibility of returning to Australia to make a late bid for their World Cup squad - and, if he did, you wouldn't bet against him.
It is the jewel in their crown and yesterday the IRFU offered an insight into the player management regime that plays such a part in their success.
For all of the positive noises about the first months of life after Kieran Keane, Connacht need a statement win to kick their campaign into gear.
Eight times, Ireland have made their way to a World Cup and eight times they have found the quarter-final glass ceiling impenetrable.
Munster have allayed fears over Keith Earls' fitness after the Ireland winger did not travel to Cardiff for tonight's PRO14 clash with the Blues.
Their headquarters may be walking distance from Croke Park but it's not clear how much heed is paid to Ireland's national games in Rugby House in Dublin 2.
The shifting sands of the international women's game were in evidence again this week with news that the England XVs team are back on professional contracts after being downgraded following the last World Cup.
All last week, Johann van Graan and the Munster squad prepared to face the Ospreys. At noon on Thursday, their plans went out the window.
Munster have dismissed reports linking them with the appointment of Kildare senior football manager Cian O'Neill.
For some sportsmen, past success is an inspiration they can draw on when tackling their future goals. Others will appreciate what they've achieved when it's all over.
Neil Cronin and Alby Mathewson aside, Friday's hammering of Ospreys in Cork was Johann van Graan's first chance to see all of his new faces on the pitch from the start and the South African was happy with how the recruits went.
This was a night of celebration and ceremony in Cork, though not one for drawing any major conclusions.
Johann Van Graan has ensured that the dignitaries in the stand will get a glimpse of stardust on the new Irish Independent Park pitch tonight. Ospreys didn't get the memo.
Andy Friend has brought the good vibes back to Connacht and tonight he takes his show on the road for the first time.
Taken as straws in the wind, this week's headlines might not add up to much. Put all of those straws together and the hay bale transforms into something approaching a ticking time-bomb.
After obliterating his goals for last season, it is understandable that Jordan Larmour is just talking about developing his all-round game as he faces into a potentially difficult second season.
It hasn't been confirmed by the club, but Stuart Lancaster believes Leicester Tigers will appoint Geordan Murphy as their head coach until the end of the season.
Leinster hope to have Jack McGrath fit and available to face Munster in three weeks’ time.
The stated goal of the Irish Rugby Football Union is to keep the best Irish-qualified players playing in Ireland.
John Cooney enjoyed his first season in Belfast so much he's signed on until 2022 at least and his new coach Dan McFarland will hope the good news can inspire Ulster to back-to-back home wins.
Last week was a good time to get the Cheetahs. Thomond Park was a good place to get them too.
For the last 10 days, Irish football has grappled with questions of identity.
After a hugely successful series at the end of last season between the sides, Ireland could return to Australia as early as 2020.
Conor Murray is injured, that much we know.
He is the type of player who hurls himself into contact with abandon, a man whose work-rate earns him the kind of post-game statistics other players can only dream of, so when Dan Leavy says something scares him the game should probably take note.
It was clear for all to see that Andy Friend is having an influence at Connacht, but a win is the next step for the new man in charge.
This could, and probably should, have been a first-day victory for Andy Friend, who was left to rue a second-half collapse by his new Connacht side, who went into the final quarter against Glasgow in full control of the game.
September is being billed as the month of champions in Galway and Connacht were given a reminder of how tough this competition is with this sickening opening day defeat.
He was the shining light of an otherwise forgettable Ireland U-20s campaign and now Caelan Doris has a chance to make his mark on the senior ranks after being handed the starting No 8 shirt for Leinster's season-opener in Cardiff tonight.
Pre-season has been very different for Tommy Bowe this time around, yet when the lights go up this evening he will feel more nervous than he has for many an opening night.
Dan Leavy says he is nearing a return to action after having his summer tour cut short by injury in June, writes Rúaidhrí O'Connor.
The summer's business has weakened them slightly, but Leinster remain the team to beat in this year's Guinness PRO14.
Twelve months ago, they were facing into a brave new dawn without much of a clue about what they were getting into. Now, at least, the South African franchises are going into their second season of Guinness PRO14 rugby with a sense of what it is all about.
Conor Murray is in danger of missing Ireland's November internationals as a result of the neck injury that will keep him out of the start of Munster's season.
Before the final Test in Sydney last June, Joe Schmidt was asked if he had considered starting either Kieran Marmion or John Cooney in the No 9 jersey for the decider.
Four tries in Saturday's Bledisloe Cup win over Australia appears to have cemented the impression that this is the Beauden Barrett era, but Felipe Contepomi reckons there is a toss of a coin between the free-scoring All Black out-half and Johnny Sexton.
Perhaps it was a nod to the victorious Limerick hurlers, but Munster's delegation were decked out in green for their visit to Glasgow to launch the new season yesterday.
Ireland captain Rory Best has admitted that he was stung by ex-team-mate Brian O'Driscoll's criticism of Ulster as "a bit of a basket-case" last season.
Even the world's best players retain their childhood dreams and after 10 years at the top of the game Johnny Sexton still has a few boxes left to tick.
Organisers insist that they are unconcerned that the Guinness PRO14 final will take place on the same day as the Scottish Cup final in Glasgow.
Dan McFarland will begin his job as Ulster coach this morning after the IRFU negotiated his release from Scotland in time for the new season.
Ulster hope this will be their year zero and, after a torturous season of controversy and inconsistency, they have turned to Billy Burns to lead the revival.
Joey Carbery and Tadhg Beirne have hogged much of the Munster attention over the course of pre-season, but with the new Ireland internationals still on ice the focus turns to the lower profile arrivals at Irish Independent Park tonight (7.30).
Sensible reasons like season scheduling may always get in the way of it happening, but Leinster star Jack Conan admits he'd love to get a chance to take on the recently-crowned Super Rugby champions Crusaders in the ultimate North v South clash.
He will be one of the four starting No 8s in the country this season, but Connacht's new signing Robin Copeland is not expecting a return to the Ireland set-up.
Stade Francais coach Heyneke Meyer has hailed Paul O'Connell as a "major asset" after unveiling the Ireland legend as his new forwards coach at the Parisian club.
Keith Earls has emerged as Limerick's secret weapon in their journey to this year's All-Ireland hurling final.
In less than a month, the rugby season will be up and running and much of the early focus will centre on how Joey Carbery adapts to life at Munster.
Last July, when Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson wanted to give Conor Glass the good news that he had been selected to become the storied Australian Rules club's first Irish player, Conor Nash answered the phone.
He never wore the armband on to the field, but one thing is clear as the Irish team disperse throughout the globe in search of a break: Johnny Sexton is the man driving this Irish team.
Player of the series
Even Joe Schmidt admitted that he is "intimidated" by following 2017/18.
A lot can change in the 454 days between now and Ireland's World Cup opener against Scotland in Yokohama but at this remove it is impossible not to feel optimistic about what Joe Schmidt's side can achieve in Japan.
In the wake of Ireland's first-Test defeat to Australia, defence coach Andy Farrell laid down a challenge to the Irish players, saying "now we'll find out what the good old-fashioned Irish ticker is about".
Joe Schmidt has hailed his side's capacity to thrive in adversity as they overcame a slew of injuries and a delay in getting to Sydney's Allianz Stadium to beat Australia and claim a first series win over one of the traditional Southern Hemisphere big three since 1979.
Joe Schmidt has hailed his side’s capacity to thrive in adversity as they overcame a slew of injuries and a delay in getting to Sydney’s Allianz Stadium to beat Australia and claim a historic first series over one of the traditional Southern Hemisphere big three since 1979.
Of the three Leinster out-halves in this Ireland squad, Ross Byrne attracts the least fanfare and minimal column inches.
Niall Scannell will start Ireland's series decider against Australia this morning (11.0) after Sean Cronin was forced to pull out with a hamstring injury.
Gone are the days when Ireland reserved their worst performance for the last game of the season as the lure of the beach proved too strong. Joe Schmidt put paid to Irish eyes being taken off the ball.
Sean Cronin has emerged as a doubt for Ireland’s series decider against Australia after sitting out the Captain’s Run at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium.
Joe Schmidt will wait until after the November internationals to make a decision on his future beyond the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Michael Cheika is sticking to his all-out-attacking policy for tomorrow's series decider in Sydney.
It is good to have options and when he eventually takes some time to consider his future towards the end of this year, Joe Schmidt will have plenty.
Joe Schmidt has challenged Sean Cronin to prove himself at the set-piece after recalling the Leinster hooker to the side for the decider against Australia.
Joe Schmidt has recalled Sean Cronin to his starting XV for Saturday’s series decider against Australia.
One issue has dominated the local media this week and it is Ireland's success in taking Israel Folau out of the equation for large parts of Saturday's win over Australia.
Robbie Henshaw says Ireland can make a statement by to the rest of the rugby world by adding a series win over Australia to their Grand Slam.
For all that he is focused on winning this series in Australia, there is no doubt that Joe Schmidt is keeping a close and increasingly worried eye on events in South Africa where Rassie Erasmus is already having an effect on the down-at-heel Springboks.
Days after starting loosehead prop Cian Healy was forced off early in the second half of Ireland's win over Australia with an injury to his AC joint, Dave Kilcoyne joined the squad's training session at the North Sydney Oval yesterday.