Big statement time: Ireland will reach the World Cup final. Now I would have said this even if England had taken the title yesterday. I feel that out of all the Northern Hemisphere teams (and I'm including Wales and England in this) they seem to be best placed to challenge for the World Cup.
In the early stages of this week they'll be some sore English bodies and pensive players however their hearts and minds will be in a much better place than they were this time two weeks ago knowing that they have laid the foundations for one final, winner takes all, Six Nations' showdown.
The Italian captain is quite simply one of the greatest players of his generation and deserves to be mentioned alongside the likes of Mervyn Davies, Brian Lochore and Hennie Muller as one of the truly great number eights in rugby history.
Hearts across the country predicted an English win by 3, based on the character they showed on the road in Cardiff and the flair showcased in both of the opening fixtures it delivered high hopes of a fourth consecutive victory over Ireland. However after eighty minutes of rugby, those hopes were dashed, England were beaten and they were beaten well by an steely Irish side.
France have certainly got the makings of a very good team but there seems to be a malaise running through this squad and it would be a real shock to hear if the French players on the whole were completely on Saint-André's side.
Going to Pay to View does not deny people the opportunity to watch altogether, but the money that it brings, if well spent, can provide thousands with new opportunities to get involved: in this respect, it seems that pay to view broadcasting can be the egalitarian way, after all.
In the build up to this year's Six Nations Championship, the spotlight was on last Friday's opening game between England and Wales at the Millennium S...
Certain players while have a huge influence on their team in the next ten months and so over the next two weeks we'll be looking at couple of players from each team who could play an important part in the success or lack thereof of their nation in what will be a key Six Nations for all involved...
England under Stuart Lancaster seem to be building something special (though we've been saying that for over two years now) but they haven't got a Six Nations title or currently a consistent record against the Sanzar nations. Yet they have provided moments and performances that suggest they could challenge in the long run or if the stars align next year.
As I sat there watching the last few seconds tick ever closer to confirming England's place a-top of the Women's Rugby Union World, I asked, we aren't that bad at sport are we? ... we are actually in a golden period for British sport. If you go through the most popular sports in the UK, you will find we have world beaters everywhere, including football.
There are rarely any dull moments; huge collisions, eye-watering feat, fierce rivalries and deft skills means that if you switch off for a second during a match you'll miss something... Rugby is a physically dangerous sport, on a weekly and even daily basis players put their bodies and indeed lives on the line.
Ever get the sense the world is in danger? In fairness there's probably not been a minute since the earth started spinning that we haven't been (big bangs are like that) but imminent trouble seems to be reaching Taylor Swift levels of proximity.
If there's one certainty about the Six Nations it is that the emotional journey of Scottish fans will swing between despair and ecstasy and Scotland's 51-3 defeat to Wales last Saturday brought the curtain down on another campaign which ran the usual gambit of emotions...
It's St Patrick's weekend in Northern Ireland, and the lawnmowers are limbering up. For a week or two, now, the rainfall has slowed, the birds have been singing for nesting territory, and underpinning their chorus is that lower, guttural sound: the growling of the First Lawnmowers of Spring.
It does occur to me that maybe, just maybe taking to the social media airwaves in the lead up to any big bruising encounter isn't perhaps the best preparation they could get involved with, given that not everyone has positive things to say all the time.
Understandably people are annoyed and upset but what did we expect? Could you really expect Warren Gatland to leave behind the likes of Tommy Bowe, Richie Gray and Dan Lydiate? It's not that he does not have other fantastic options open to him but quite simply he has to pick the best squad that he feels has the ability to defeat the Wallabies.