The Financial Challenges Facing Irish Rugby

O’Brien recently delighted Leinster fans and his cattle with the news he would commit to the province, and his farm

It has been a welcome few weeks for Irish rugby with the announcement that O’Brien, Heaslip, O’Connell and Earls have all committed there medium to long term futures to their provinces. While the latter two were realistically never going anywhere there was genuine surprise that the IRFU were able to hold on to both O’Brien and Heaslip. Both made it clear from the outset that they wanted to stay but as is the general theme in European rugby these days, money was the underlying concern. Coming off the back of other player contract renewals including Conor Murray announced before Christmas, it has been a busy few months.Read More »

Heineken Cup Clean Sweep – Ireland smash, crush, destroy………..

Pat Lam
Pat Lam patrols the Connacht touchline during the Toulouse game

A clean sweep over the weekend for the Irish who vanquished English, Italian and French opposition in the Heineken Cup. To quote Cu Chulainn himself after the Táin Bó Cúailnge, “there a great side, we knew they would come at us but thankfully we smashed them”. And while Connacht may have put a momentary full stop on what has been an impressive run of defeats, Toulouse are coming to Galway next week and they will be angry. However, no matter what happens during the rest of his tenure, Lam has written himself his own piece of Connacht and unlike Cu Chulainn is unlikely to end up tied to a rock and beheaded.

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Leinster v Northampton: Unfinished Business?

You can bet Northampton will be watching these highlights in advance of the next two games. Currently sitting in  second in the Aviva Premiership and with a stronger squad then in 2011, they have very right to be confident. That being said, they are playing a team that despite certain departures is still stronger and has won 3 European Cups in five. Its on….