Jared Payne: “I’m pretty passionate about it, seeing the environment Ireland have created over the last three years. It is something I want to be a part of.” Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Jared Payne story need not temper optimism.That was put to Joe Schmidt yesterday: has his optimism been tempered by so many injuries and the Spri(...)

Lions captain Brian O’Driscoll  eyes up the New Zealand All Black haka before  the ill-fated first Test match in Christchurch in  2005.

New Zealand 21Lions 3at Jade Stadium, ChristchurchJune 25th, 2005Bad and all as losing him within a minute of the kick-off was, the real psychological(...)

John Plumtree: the former Natal Sharks coach is looking forward to working with Joe Schmidt and the Irish squad. Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images

John Plumtree is looking forward to renewing old acquaintances. The newly appointed Ireland forwards’ coach, who moves here from Durban’s Natal Sharks(...)

Vern Cotter (right) introduced Joe Schmidt to European rugby at Clermont. Photograph: Getty Images.

Josef Schmidt never seems to tire of talking rugby. He just doesn’t like talking about what he does in rugby. Like turning flankers into centre(...)