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Lancaster ‘very happy’ at Leinster but unsigned contract leaves door open for Ireland talks

ALTHOUGH ALWAYS HONEST and engaging, Stuart Lancaster yesterday managed to keep his cards very close to his chest by saying everything, and nothing, about his coaching future.  Eleven minutes answering questions and Lancaster left the room with the assembled print media no closer to knowing the identity of who his employers will be next season, as the affable Englishman remained coy on his plans, choosing his words carefully. Lancaster: Will he be at Leinster next…

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Connacht make third short-term signing with capture of Munster’s Fitzgerald

CONNACHT HAVE FURTHER strengthened their backline resources for the second half of the season with the short-term signing of Stephen Fitzgerald from Munster. Fitzgerald, the older brother of Connacht academy out-half Conor, joins the western province on a three-month loan deal, and becomes the third player to move to the Sportsground in the last week. Fitzgerald joins his younger brother at Connacht. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Andy Friend’s midfield options were boosted with the arrival of…

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Baloucoune back from ban to make European debut in Ulster’s daunting date with Racing

WING ROBERT BALOUCOUNE will return from suspension to win his Heineken Champions Cup debut when Ulster host Racing 92 at Kingspan Stadium tomorrow (kick-off 15.15). The Fermanagh flyer was given a two-week suspension for his early aerial challenge on Munster’s Darren Sweetnam in the pre-Christmas win over the southern province. After scoring twice in that game, he will form a back three with Jacob Stockdale and Louis Ludik outside international centres Will Addison and Stuart…

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Knee knock the only down side to another brilliant Tadhg Beirne performance

Sean Farrell reports from Thomond Park HE ARRIVED IN Munster a fully-formed star of European Rugby and a nominee for the Champions Cup’s player of the year. It scarcely seemed plausible that Tadhg Beirne’s influence would grow. Yet rather than succumb or to any potential settling-in period that can slow down so many rising stars, the second row continues to deliver supreme performance levels when his team most needs him. The sight of Beirne grimacing…

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Taking lineout inspiration from Toner and Ryan, and gunning for Six Nations upset against England

WHEN IT COMES TO Ireland’s lineout calls, Railway Union’s Aoife McDermott has the final say. Aoife McDermott and Ireland head coach Adam Griggs. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO There’s a collective input into how the play will go. Players can make suggestions, which she’s always open to exploring, but the Sligo-born second-row will make the decisive call. She’s still technically a newcomer to the sport, but McDermott has certainly established herself as a leader in the Ireland…

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Ireland U20s impress in Scotland to make it two from two in the Six Nations

Scotland 5 Ireland 24 Murray Kinsella reports from Netherdale, Galashiels AN UNTELEVISED GAME meant Ireland U20s were slightly under the radar tonight but a second win in two Six Nations games underlined the rich potential of Noel McNamara’s men. Ireland captain David Hawkshaw offloads. Source: James Crombie/INPHO With a strong wind blowing in Galashiels, tries from hooker Dylan Tierney-Martin, number eight John Hodnett and left wing Jonathan Wren, as well as four kicks from out-half…

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Finishing drills with Lowe just one part of Barry Daly’s effort to build all-round game

44 POINTS SEPARATE Leinster and the Southern Kings at either end of the Pro14 Conference B table, and there could easily be a similar gap on the RDS scoreboard by full-time tonight (kick-off 19.55, eir Sport). The reigning champions and the weaker of the newest additions to the league also have mirror-image win-loss records, with the Kings managing to find an upper hand against both Scottish teams amid 13 defeats this term. If there is…

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Seating Chart, Ticket Prices For AEW Double Or Nothing

All Elite Wrestling has released the seating chart and ticket prices for AEW Double or Nothing. The pre-sale for the event starts Monday morning. You can see the chart below. The pre-sale ticket link will go live at noon PT/3 PM ET. Per PWInsider, ticket start at $211 for ringside seats and then go to $178.40, 156.60, $102.10, $69.40 and $36.70. The show takes place on May 25th, and the promotion’s website has already had…

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Ireland Women suffer double injury blow as they bid to bounce back after Italy defeat

IRELAND WOMEN WILL be without two key players for the remainder of the Six Nations campaign. Head coach Adam Griggs is preparing for Saturday’s home meeting against France without the forward power of Leah Lyons and centre Michelle Claffey. Claffey required ankle surgery after sustaining the injury in the first half of the loss to Italy in Parma a fortnight ago. Lyons, meanwhile, will also miss the Championship’s closing two fixtures with an A/C joint…

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Bowe wishes Earls well as he moves up all-time list and backs Stockdale to follow suit

KEITH EARLS’ TRY against France on Sunday meant a little more than sealing a bonus point, rubber-stamping a victory or even underlining a day when Ireland returned to form. The Limerick man’s score took him to joint second in Ireland’s try-scoring ranks, the 30 mark reached only by Brian O’Driscoll and Tommy Bowe before him. Of course, O’Driscoll managed to play on for six years after scoring his 30th Test try against Wales in 2007…

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