Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek with Nathan White, Michael Bent and David Kilcoyne at the squad session at Carton House. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 6:19

Whatever about keeping his powder dry, Joe Schmidt has held back many of his big guns for the showdown with Wales two weeks’ hence as auditioning for (...)

Andrew Trimble has been ruled out of Ireland’s World Cup warm-up game against Scotland on Saturday. Photograph: Inpho

The cost of Ireland’s opening World Cup warm-up win over Wales could mount even further after it emerged that Andrew Trimble remains a significant in(...)

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell has been named the Rugby Writers of Ireland player of the year for a second time. Photograph: Inpho

As befits a playing and living legend of Irish rugby, Paul O’Connell was named The Guinness Rugby Writers of Ireland Player of the Year at the annual (...)

Irish centre Darren Cave is tackled during last Saturday’s 2015 Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Darren Cave’s prospects of making Ireland’s 31-man squad were enhanced last season by him reinventing himself as an inside centre. Given he can als(...)

Tommy O’Donnell has been ruled out of the World Cup after dislocating his hip in Ireland’s warm-up win over Wales. Photograph: Inpho

The desperately unfortunate Tommy O’Donnell faces a long road back to the game and an uncertain future after an IRFU statement on Monday confirmed the(...)

Ireland’s Tommy O’Donnell had his World Cup dreams shattered against Wales. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The roof closed out the sunshine and in addition a cloud hung over Ireland’s otherwise encouraging start to their World Cup preparations in Saturda(...)

Ireland’s Felix Jones scores a try against Wales in the World Cup warm-up match at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

For Felix Jones, the sight of Tommy O’Donnell laid out and being treated for four minutes, before being stretchered off as he clutched Dr Eanna Falvey(...)

Keith Earls breaks with the ball to score an Ireland try during the international match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The slickness of this performance was testimony to the coaching skills of Joe Schmidt and his staff, and the trademark(...)

Simon Zebo is congratulated by three other Ireland try scorers, Jamie Heaslip, Felix Jones and Keith Earls after his score against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: PA

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The final scoreline, if anything, flattered Wales. Ireland were way more cohesive than a Welsh team cobbled together from World Cu(...)

Keith Earls turns towards the camera during Ireland squad training at Carton House. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

So the guessing game begins. Who will make the cut for Ireland’s World Cup squad of 31 out of the current squad of 46? Great for pub conversations, bu(...)