BBC BLOGS - Bryn Palmer

Leinster redefine Euro boundaries after third Heineken Cup triumph

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Bryn Palmer | 21:42 UK time, Saturday, 19 May 2012

So are Leinster now the greatest Heineken Cup team of all time?

It may have a been a hot topic among the blue hordes trooping deliriously out of Twickenham, after seeing their heroes win an unprecedented third European title in four years.

But it wasn't a question occupying the minds of the players who had just delivered a record-breaking margin of victory in the final of rugby's most passionately charged club competition.

No doubt when they reflect on their season's work a week on Monday, and start to contemplate what next year might hold, they might be persuaded to indulge in a little fantasy.

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Twickenham poised for all-Irish final

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Bryn Palmer | 19:39 UK time, Thursday, 17 May 2012

Saturday's Heineken Cup final at Twickenham will be a celebration of Irish rugby, the first denouement between two sides from the country in 17 years of the tournament.

Leinster, aiming for a third title in four years to join Toulouse as the only other team to have won it more than twice, start favourites against Ulster, who triumphed back in 1999.

BBC Sport has taken the opinions of two former Ireland captains - Phillip Matthews (38 caps from 1984 to 1991 and an ex-Ulster flanker) and Keith Wood (58 caps from 1994 to 2003 and a Heineken Cup finalist with Munster in 2000) - for some insight into Saturday's proceedings.

Two former winners from the two provinces - Ulster's 1999-winning full-back Bryn Cunningham and Leinster lock Malcolm O'Kelly, who played in their 2009 triumph, also weigh in with their thoughts.

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The best of the 2012 Six Nations and team of the tournament

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Bryn Palmer | 07:02 UK time, Tuesday, 20 March 2012

So, another Six Nations is done and dusted, one of the best since Five became Six in 2000.

A third Grand Slam in eight years for Wales. Plaudits for runners-up England. Misgivings over Ireland and France, a win for Italy and a third Wooden Spoon in nine years for Scotland.

Time for a few awards, and a team of the tournament.

I canvassed the views of the BBC’s main television analysts – former Wales fly-half Jonathan Davies (JD), ex-England centre Jeremy Guscott (JG), former Scotland scrum-half Andy Nicol (AN) and ex-Ireland hooker Keith Wood (KW) – for their highlights, and asked them for a mark out of 10 for their respective home nations, as well as their composite teams.

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