“All things being equal, Schmidt would pitch up against France on October 11th with a team closely resembling the starting XV that kicked off the Six Nations-clinching win in Paris.” Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images.

Results against France look likely to define manager Joe Schmidt’s reign

 Anthony Foley: ill-timed and unwanted episode for Anthony Foley and his newly assembled, indigenous coaching staff. Photograph: James Crombie

Comments by coaching staff hightlight the view that this is not a golden era

Ulster look likely to name their former scrumhalf Neil Doak as head coach on a full-time basis.Photograph: Inpho

Former scrumhalf set to land lead role with province on full-time basis

Graduating from the academy: Furlong proved his mettle in the 2012 World Cup in South Africa where he played in all 10 games. Photograph: Billy Stickland / Inpho

Wexford may have put a hurl in his hand but nature made him a tighthead

Ulster’s Stuart Olding makes a break during the province’s Pro12 draw with Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets, Wales, last Saturday. Photograph: Inpho

Ulster all-rounder sets targets after recovering from anterior cruciate ligament injury

 Andy Irvine: regarded as a contender for the role of EPCR independent chairman or president. Photograph: Getty Images

European Professional Club Rugby aim to announce deal by end of this week or next week

 Ireland’s Iain Henderson out until the turn of the year. Photograph: Billy Stickland / Inpho

Ireland and Ulster forward Iain Henderson also out until new year with a hip injury

Shane Jennings arrives for pre-season training at the Leinster rugby squad session in University College Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leo Cullen indicates three or four likely to be back in mix after returning from injury

Launching the Ulster Bank League season  at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin were Jonathan Slattery of Old Belvedere, Emmet McMahon of UCD, Ben Reilly of Clontarf, Kevin Sheahan of St Mary’s, John Fitzgerald of Dolphin and Aaron Kerins of Ballynahinch. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Club final will be played at Lansdowne Road for first time since 2006

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