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George North: “I want to be on the wing. I want to have that space to run at people.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

In some respects it’s a throwback to childhood and the ‘give it to the big lad,’ philosophy of mini-rugby. But there comes a time when the big lad ha(...)

Ireland Under-20  James Ryan in action against a Leinster Development side. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ireland Under-20 v Wales Under-20 Donnybrook, 7.35pm RTÉ 2 The cyclical nature of underage rugby is illustrated by comparing last year’s Ireland U(...)

James Cronin: “I was happy enough to sign for Munster for three years. If you’re playing well in any sport you’re going to be wanted and luckily for me I was wanted at home.”

James Cronin is content for rugby to be at the kernel of any conversation or more specifically that any focus relates to his exploits on the pitch rat(...)

Lansdowne secondrow James Ryan will captain Ireland under-20 in their opening Six Nations game agaainst Wales at Donnybrook on Friday night. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland coach Nigel Carolan has named three of last year’s side for the opening Under-20 Six Nations Championship game against Wales at Donnybrook on (...)

Jared Payne in action during Ireland training at Carton House. Photograph:   Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Nothing much fazes Jared Payne, his laconic drawl occasionally punctuated by a smile, as he discusses the disappointment of injury, a curtailed playin(...)

Sean O’Brienmissed training on Wednesday ahead of Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Wales. Photograph: Inpho

Seán O’Brien missed Ireland training on Wednesday morning with a tight hamstring ahead of Sunday’s opening Six Nations Championship match against Wale(...)

Leinster’s Rhys Ruddock in action against Toulon. Ruddock has been in excellent form for the province in recent matches and is in the running to wear the Ireland number six jersey against Wales. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Rhys Ruddock used to be a self-proclaimed mummy’s boy when it came to rugby during his childhood, or to be more accurate when it came to showing alleg(...)

Scrumhalf Conor Murray takes a selfie with young supporters during Ireland’s open training session at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Contract-wrangling used to be a relatively private affair in Irish rugby, with the odd exception. Now, it has managed to find a more public forum as p(...)

Darren Sweetnam will make his for competitive appearance for Munster against Zebre. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Guninness Pro12 League Zebre v Munster Stadio Lanfranchi, Saturday, 2.0pm TG4 Former Cork intercounty hurler, schools hockey international and Ir(...)