The maestros of Euro 2008

Group A - Cristiano Ronaldo

For Cristiano Ronaldo, life has lately become a continuous procession of awards ceremonies. He's won 10 major player of the year awards in the last five seasons (that's excluding baubles like the Manchester United Players' Player of the Year awards), he has just collected the European Golden Shoe, and he is hailed as the world's best by everyone but a rogue cell of Irish TV analysts who are probably only doing it to wind everybody up.

Pole position for prosaic team

Following Ireland's abysmal exit from the Euro 2008 qualifiers, support will naturally draw to the nearest underdog, Poland. Bouts of mediocrity notwithstanding, Poland can progress beyond the first round of the Euro finals. By Ken Early

Delaney saved for now by the Trapattoni rabbit


John Delaney's head was demanded by the soccer public in the wake of the Steve Staunton debacle. He managed to buy time by seeming to stand aside as CEO from the most significant appointment by the organisation he manages and Trapattoni, for now at least, quells dissent. But if that goes wrong…





Young Guns Hit the Bullseye

The Welsh game in Dublin presents an unproven Ireland the chance to inspire the confidence of a skeptical public. Young players should be retained in the backline,  Munster's forwards unleashed, but the game plan must change for Ireland to win the Triple Crown. By Brent Pope

Rebuilding for World Cup 2011

This year's Six Nations is as much about testing new players as getting good results. Each coach will select his squad bearing the next World Cup in mind.
By Brent Pope

Ginger McLoughlin - Limerick's Rugby Legend

Gerry ‘Ginger' McLoughlin – better known as ‘Locky' in his native Limerick - was instrumental in winning the 1982 Triple Crown, Ireland's first since 1949. Below, ‘Locky' tells of his flirtation with the priesthood, Limerick's rugby rivalries and great players, his call-up to international rugby and the fateful tour to apartheid South Africa which impacted on his teaching career
By Dave McMahon