# flanker

Last year
'Two years ago, I wasn't getting picked for some Irish games' - World POTY van der Flier
Josh van der Flier is now the World Rugby men’s player of the year.
# West Cork
Tractor-driving Hodnett looking to take his game up a gear with Munster
The Rosscarbery man has bounced back well this season after a year out of the game through injury.
All time
# Punishment
England flanker given 4-match ban for striking with knee
Lewis Ludlow was captaining his country against Canada for a second successive match.
# competitor
Van der Flier has bit between his teeth in battle for 'disputed' 7 shirt
Competing for a starting slot is different at 27 than it was at 23 for Josh van der Flier.
# Back in green
Major boost for Ireland as former captain Claire Molloy returns from sabbatical
The Wasps back row has returned to the international fold.
# openside
'What actually changed my mindset was reading a bit of McCaw’s book'
Josh van der Flier is looking to make good decisions on both sides of the breakdown.
# shove story
Clermont flanker gets 14-week ban for pushing Wayne Barnes
The openside felt the referee was blocking his route to a tackle on Friday.
# out of nothing
Munster were awful, but at least neutrals were treated to a wonder-try from this 20-year-old flanker
It’s not even the first time Sekou Macalou has carved open an Irish defence.
# Interview
'Dark days' of rehab and recovery long behind Stephen Ferris
The flanker can look back with pride on a career with many more highs than lows.
# tullow tank
Sean O'Brien handed one-week ban for Papé punch, will miss Argentina clash
The Tullow Tank will be hoping to fight for his place again if Ireland reach the semi-final.
# ultimate connacht man
'As long as the hunger is there, I'll keep playing on' -- John Muldoon
The Connacht captain’s current contract ends at the end of the season, but he intends on signing a new one.
# Transfer
Pat Lam's Connacht have signed a Kiwi back row ahead of next season
Openside flanker Nepia Fox-Matamua will join the province on a two-year deal.
# Exiles
Promising ex-Leinster back row Gilsenan signs new contract with London Irish
The 22-year-old left Leinster last summer to join the Premiership club.
# Chad
'All the players are thinking of him' - Ireland's best wishes to Chris Henry
The openside flanker suffered a temporary blockage of a small blood vessel in his brain.
# Withdrawal
Late blow for Ireland as Chris Henry ruled out of Springboks clash
The openside flanker has been replaced by Rhys Ruddock, with Tommy O’Donnell coming onto the bench.
# Grit
What would Simon Easterby bring to the Ireland coaching set-up?
The Scarlets head coach has been linked with a move to join Joe Schmidt’s backroom staff.
# checking out
'I think I just need a break from rugby' - Stephen Ferris on his retirement
The Ulster flanker has thanked the province’s fans and backroom staff on the day he officially hung up his boots.
# promotion
Dominic Ryan made captain of Emerging Ireland as McCarthy withdraws through injury
With late call-ups to the senior squad, Stuart McCloskey, Ricky Lutton and Billy Holland are packing their bags for Romania.
# One to Watch
This Legends League star could be facing Ireland at the Women's World Cup
Former gridiron player Chloe Butler should make her Australia debut against New Zealand or Canada next month.
# Analysis
Munster need to explode over the gainline today and CJ is the man they need to fire
Toulon’s back row represented one of Europe’s most feared units but the South African is capable of taking the fight to them.
# mindset
Chris Henry: 'I think there's a lot more to come from this group of players'
Ireland’s openside flanker had an outstanding championship as he thrived under Joe Schmidt’s coaching.
# Return
Stephen Ferris back on the bench for Ulster after injury layoff since November 2012
Great news for the Ireland international.
# Hendo
Henderson hopeful of Ireland start as he learns the donkey work from O'Connell
The Ulsterman has underlined his preference for playing six, and there may be an opening in that position against Italy.
# openside
O'Donnell ready for another taste of 'addictive' Six Nations rugby
The Munster flanker has highlighted the danger of Wales’ back row ‘threats’ on Saturday.
# bogey team
Justin Tipuric: 'No better way of bouncing back than beating Leinster'
The Ospreys flanker is determined to end a disappointing Heineken Cup campaign on a high.
# Comeback
Ireland openside option Henry feels there's 'plenty more' to come
The Ulster flanker returned for Friday night’s win against Munster and was happy with his display.
# Pro12
Connacht targeting revenge after RDS heartbreak - Andrew Browne
The Galwegian flanker feels his team is capable of producing a similar performance to last season’s 34-6 home win over Leinster.
# openside
Who should replace Sean O'Brien in Ireland's back row?
With the Tullow Tank looking set to miss the Six Nations, we run the rule over the candidates to fill in.
# openside
'With Sean out, I've an opportunity to stake my claim' - Chris Henry
The Ulster flanker is hoping to show Ireland coach Joe Schmidt what he can do after returning from a hamstring injury.
# 7
McCaw leading All Black search for satisfying perfection
Richie McCaw is at the centre of New Zealand’s never-ending drive to improve.
# Analysis
Analysis: O’Mahony surges into leading role for Ireland
We break down the blindside flanker’s best performance in an Ireland jersey, play-by-play.
# destructive force
Destructive Chris Henry happy to be Joe Schmidt's problem solver
The Ulster back-row believes beating Samoa at the breakdown will be half the battle on Saturday.
# choice bro!
Irish rugby star lines up for Christchurch with All Blacks legend Richie McCaw
Diarmuid McMahon is plying his rugby trade in New Zealand and has played alongside some of the country’s top talents.
# fez
Stephen Ferris signs 6-month contract extension with Ireland and Ulster
The flanker will hope to prove his fitness to win an improved deal by the end of the year.
# wallaby warrior
Ghost of Lions tours past is back to haunt Heaslip and O'Driscoll
“The tight jerseys [are new],” remarked Aussie flanker George Smith. “The fashion has changed.”
# summer tour
Tommy O'Donnell ready for Ireland debut after outstanding Munster season
The flanker is hoping to start against the US Eagles next Saturday after impressing for his province.
# hard ball
'We'd love to see him stick around' - Henry urges Ferris to fight on
The emergence of young blindsides Iain Henderson and Peter O’Mahony may see the IRFU balk at his contract demands.
# Grand Final
'Ulster have done a job on us twice already this season. They are favourites'
Flanker Shane Jennings tells that there is no room for sentiment in Leinster dressing room.
# Lions 2013
Lions hopefuls Ashton and Robshaw left out of England summer tour
Harlequins scrum-half Danny Care has also been omitted from the two-Test trip to Argentina.
# Lions 2013
Lion O'Brien ready for back row battle Down Under
The Leinster and Ireland flanker has some Welshmen to displace if he wants a starting role against the Wallabies.