It’s a sign of the times that we’re sitting here the week before Christmas and already it’s pretty obvious that there will be no Irish winner of the E(...)

 Irish players warm up in the Keep Rugby Clean IRB Anti-doping tee shirts before the 2014 Junior World Championship match against Fiji  in Auckland, New Zealand. Photo: Jason Oxenham/Getty

Within the last 18 months, one of the Irish provinces made contact with the Irish Sports Council regarding one of their players. The player had made h(...)

Munster’s Paul O’Connell is tackled by Clermont Auvergne’s Wesley Fofana during the 2013 Heineken Cup semi final. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Every club has its own DNA. People won’t necessarily talk about it but everyone around the place knows it and feels it. From watching and playing agai(...)

Ireland physio Keith Fox assesses Conor Murray before leading him  from the pitch late in the game against Australia. Photo: Colm O’Neill/Inpho.

After the game on Saturday, I got a Tweet from Peter Robinson, father of the schoolboy Benjamin Robinson who died on the side of a rugby pitch in J(...)

Australia coach Michael Cheika before the autumn Test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff.

The first time I met Michael Cheika, I had a row with him. We played Leinster in a Pro 12 game at Lansdowne Road in 2006, a few months after we’d bea(...)

Ireland line up for the South Africa  clash. “The more belief players have in the coach, his game plan and the chances of it succeeding, the more united they will be.” Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Players want to play. It doesn’t matter what the sport is, what the team is, who the coach is – players want to play. That’s what drives them, that’s (...)

 Lions captain Paul O’Connell beats South Africa’s Victor Matfield to the ball at Ellis Park  in Johannesburg in 2009. The two men renew acquintances this Saturday. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty

A Heineken Cup final is a tough time to be learning major lessons but that’s how it was for us. People remember the 2002 final against Leicester as th(...)

Ulster’s Nick Williams and Jared Payne dejected after the loss to Toulon at the weekend. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Inpho

I thought Ulster would be better than this. It was arguable going into the start of the European season that they were actually the best placed Irish (...)

Forward momentum: Munster outhalf Ian Keatley has been named in Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad. Photograph: Inpho

From the moment Ian Keatley stepped through the door of the Munster dressingroom for the first time in 2011, he has endured the forensic scrutiny of t(...)

Leinster’s Jimmy Gopperth is tackled by Munster’s Andrew Smith and Paul O’Connell during the recent clash at the Aviva Stadium. ‘Choosing Gopperth over Madigan is a conservative route to go down, in my opinion.’ Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster have been so good for so long it’s only natural any bit of a wobble will make people wonder are they in trouble. Nothing causes supporters to(...)