Jimmy Gopperth at the Barbarians captain’s run in Thomond Park. “I have absolutely loved my time at Leinster and in Ireland.” Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Jimmy Gopperth describes the prospect of bidding farewell to Irish rugby tonight by playing against so many Leinster team-mates of the last two years (...)

Ulster’s Chris Henry scoring a try against Glasgow last week: “This is my third time playing against a Baa Baas team and it’s always a tough but really enjoyable game against them.” Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/Inpho

Shane Jennings won’t be the only flanker in action at Thomond Park this evening to have decidedly mixed feelings about this game. Part of Chris Henry (...)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt: team selection features Leinster youngsters in centre Colm O’Shea and replacement winger Cian Kelleher. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Ireland v Barbarians, Thomond Park, 7.45pm: At face value this looks like a bit of an end-of-season jaunt. Then again, with Joe Schmidt involved and t(...)

Irish Rugby Captain’s Run at Thomond Park: Colm O’Shea and Luke McGrath. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Joe Schmidt has distanced himself from last week’s upheaval at Leinster which saw Matt O’Connor removed as head coach two years into his three year co(...)

“If we start thinking about different things and getting distracted, getting emotional, then that’s a negative,” said Munster coach Anthony Foley. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Competing in their first final for four seasons, it’s odd to think that Munster are in relatively uncharted territory of late. There are a myriad of p(...)

Shane Jennings: “We have to respect the tradition, and we have to do it justice.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

By rights they are an anachronism which should have been one of the amateur game’s first casualties with the advent of professionalism. But somehow th(...)

 Ruan Pienaar leaves the pitch with his dejected team-mates after the defeat to Glasgow in Scotstoun. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/Inpho

Ruan Pienaar seems to have been on the rugby treadmill for about five years now without a break, ever since joining Ulster five years ag o. If ever a(...)

Connacht’s Eoghan Masterson is shown a yellow card and sinbinned by referee Romain Poite during the European Champions Cup play-off at Kingsholm Stadium. Photograph: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

As one Connacht player put it, when you’re at the bottom of the food chain you get dry bread. It’s often said in team sports that the perceived ‘bigge(...)

Gloucester’s Jonny May  celebrates scoring the winning try against Connacht at Kingsholm. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Connacht’s sense of injustice will last through the summer months and into next season. Two highly contentious decisions by French referee Romain Poit(...)

Paul O’Connell with Conor Murray: the scrum-half remains is awaiting the results of a scan into his medial cruciate ligament injury, which he picked up in Munster’s 21-18 victory over the Ospreys at Thomond Park on Saturday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Conor Murray remains Munster’s biggest concern ahead of next Sunday’s Guinness Pro12 final and seasonal climax in the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.The(...)