Tuesday 16 January 2018

Ireland's fall

• Does the aggregate scoreline of an almost 100-point defeat in three test matches against New Zealand tell the true position of Irish rugby, or is the winning of five Heineken Cups by Leinster and Munster in the past seven years a more accurate barometer?

Our 2009 Grand Slam success has been our only one in the past 64 years. Wales have won three grand slams in the past eight years, yet Welsh clubs have only ever appeared in one Heineken Cup final, and that was back in the first tournament in 1996 with Cardiff losing to Toulouse.

In seven rugby world cups, we have never reached the last four. How then do Irish provinces dominate the Heineken Cup? This year, two Irish teams contested the final.

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