Younger age groups are gulping down their protein shakes – even though sporting governing bodies, such as the GAA and the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU), do not recommend them for players under 18 years of age.  Photograph: Thinkstock

I used to see these oversized, slightly sinister-looking plastic tubs with mysterious labels piled high in shops that I passed by but never went into.(...)

Simon Zebo: “I feel really fresh now, excited and hopefully my best rugby will come out.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Excluding the natural skills of Simon Zebo from Ireland’s World Cup squad would shock. Not unlike Declan Kidney cutting Luke Fitzgerald in 2011, wh(...)

“The moments when I missed it (playing) most was when they (Ireland) won the (2015) Six Nations,” says Andrew Trimble. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

Injuries challenge the player mentally and physically. Setbacks double the tariffs. Andrew Trimble suffered a toe injury last October and in February,(...)

Ian Keatley: left out of Ireland’s 45-man training panel for the World Cup.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Joe Schmidt’s 45-man Ireland training squad contains two uncapped players, in prop, Tadhg Furlong and number eight Jack Conan, along with a familiar c(...)

Ian Keatley has been left out of Ireland’s 45-man training squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has named his 45-man training squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup. Notable absentees from Schmidt’s squad include Ian Kea(...)

If Henderson receives a  ban in excess of two or three playing weeks it would carry into next season and the World Cp warm-up matches. Photograph: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Iain Henderson faces an anxious wait to discover the consequences of his contentious, 74th-minute red card in Saturday’s 23-23 draw at the Kingspan(...)

Paul O’Connell captained Ireland to  Six Nations Championshps success. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell will compete with Conor Murray, Robbie Henshaw and Jonathan Sexton for the accolade of the the Hibernia College IRUPA (...)

Ulster’s Ireland contingent of Iain Henderson, Jared Payne, Rory Best and Tommy Bowe do a selfie after the Six Nations Championship win against Scotland at Murrayfield last month. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

Ulster travel to the Sportsground this Saturday knowing that for their hosts, Connacht, focusing on rugby will be a relief given the events of the las(...)

France coach Philippe Saint-Andre. “He may  be a practical coach but the French media stone him for his inability to settle upon a team.” Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Only place to begin is at the end of Paris. When the Ides of March were overcome.Sexton had been carted off (not an omen just another reason to avoid (...)

Sean O’Brien was forced to withdraw from the Ireland team ahead of the 26-3 victory over Italy in Rome after damaging his hamstring during the warm-up and is now a doubt for Saturday’s fixture against France at the Aviva Stadium. (Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

Seán O’Brien’s involvement against France next Saturday remains in doubt after damaging his hamstring while warming up ahead of Ireland’s 26-3 trimmin(...)