I am delighted to extend a very Happy Christmas and safe and peaceful New Year to our extensive rugby family.
Christmas time marks a halfway point in the rugby season and while we can look back and be greatly sustained by events of 2014, I believe we can also look forward with due optimism to what awaits in 2015.
Ulster are guaranteed to have one representative in the Ulster Bank All-Ireland Junior Cup final on Saturday, January 31, after Bangor reached the decider for the first time thanks to a 9-6 victory over last year's runners-up Clogher Valley.
Following their 29-27 away win in the European Challenge Cup, Connacht's Bayonne conquerors returned to Galway on Sunday night and joined the other members of the squad for training this morning as attention turns to the upcoming GUINNESS PRO12 derby clash with Leinster.
A late 10-point burst, including an injury-time penalty from Ian Keatley, could yet prove crucial for Munster who battled all the way in today's 26-19 defeat to European Champions Cup Pool 1 leaders Clermont Auvergne.
Old Belvedere backed up their stunning form from throughout this season to seal the Women's All-Ireland League Division 1 title in a fast-paced final against an extremely dogged Blackrock, writes Kate Rowan.
Old Belvedere are the Women's All-Ireland League Division 1 champions for the second year running, following their four-try 26-5 win over Blackrock in Saturday's final at Donnybrook. Check out our match photo gallery.
Cooke took the spoils in the Women's All-Ireland League Division 2 final on Donnybrook's back pitch today, running out 47-0 winners over a gallant Carlow side. Check out some pics from the match and trophy presentation.
Cathal Marsh and Sam Coghlan Murray were in fine form as their combined tally of 32 points helped defending champions Leinster 'A' to round off their British & Irish Cup Pool 5 run with a nine-try 59-26 victory over Plymouth Albion.
European Champions Cup Pool 3 is especially tight at the moment with only five points separating the bottom-placed Scarlets from table toppers Toulon. If third-placed Ulster can chalk up another win in Llanelli, they will remain in the running for a quarter-final spot.
Clermont Auvergne managed to swap places with Munster at the top of European Champions Cup Pool 1 last weekend, so can the Reds bite back on Sunday and end the French side's own formidable record at the Stade Marcel Michelin?