Ireland squad in training at Carton House. Joe Schmidt has decided to “freshen” up the team for Scotland with Simon Zebo missing out. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho 3:12

Tricky isn’t the half of it. Sandwiched between the other two games, with a possible target set by Wales in Rome before then striving to set a target (...)

Cian Healy: set to win first start of this season’s Six Nation’s in Saturday’s meeting with Scotland at Murrayfield. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Cian Healy and Luke Fitzgerald appear to be in line for their first starts of this season’s Six Nations when Joe Schmidt announces the Irish starting (...)

Eoin Reddan puts in a box kick against Wales.  The scrumhalf says the only focus this week is beating Scotland. Photograph:  Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Sandwiched between the other two games, Saturday’s grand finale to the 2015 Six Nations looks particularly complicated for Ireland. Not alone have the(...)

Ireland’s Cian Healy is tackled by Aaron Jarvis of Wales at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Greg Feek has been stressing that Cian Healy has been “chomping at the bit”. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Irish forwards coach Simon Easterby yesterday dropped the broadest of hints that the Irish starting XV and replacements for the Six Nations’ finale a(...)

Sex appeal: Ireland outhalf Johnny Sexton leads a team talk in the huddle during last week’s crunch game against Wales. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Maybe, just maybe, there is indeed a silver lining of some kind to last Saturday’s defeat. Another leading-from-the-front victory, thereby ensuring(...)

Referee Wayne Barnes awards a penalty to Wales during the final moments of the game at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Confusion reigned as to the reason for the fateful last penalty of the match at a Welsh scrum at the Millennium Stadium last Saturday. Players, manag(...)

 Simon Zebo upended in the tackle.  Wales racing into a 12-0 lead threw a spanner in the works of this well-oiled Irish machine. Photograph:   Michael Steele/Getty Images

The pressure told; the pressure of the occasion maybe and, the shoe on the other foot, the scoreboard pressure applied on Ireland by Wales, who were m(...)

Ireland’s Devin Toner, Sean O’Brien and Paul O’Connell react to referee Wayne Barnes’s decision. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho 6:29

The television companies, the sponsors and the organisers are happy. The 2015 RBS Six Nations will go down to the last day in a three-way shoot-out fo(...)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt puts his side through their paces during the Captain’s Run at the Millennium Stadium ahead of the Six Nations clash with Wales on Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 2:08

In the red corner, a wounded home team with a proven pedigree in this competition in recent times, who are drinking at the last-chance saloon. In the(...)

Simon Easterby: “Why can’t this be the period when Ireland win back-to-back championships.” Photograph: Russell Pritchard/Inpho/Presseye

Come the full-time whistle today and Simon Easterby could have a highly-distinguished place in the history of Irish rugby. He played a part in the pre(...)