Flanker Seán O’Brien is expected to return to the Ireland team against France having recovered from a hamstring injury. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The consequences of last Sunday’s Celtic Demolition Derby has left Joe Schmidt’s team selection in a state of flux. Ireland were obliged to make 17(...)

Johnny Sexton in action against Wales in their Six Nations opener. “On seeing his demeanour on the field last Sunday it looked to me like he was enjoying his rugby again.” Photograph: Getty Images

The well-worn line about doing the jersey justice resonates in the wake of Paul O’Connell’s retirement from rugby. But a genuine tribute to Paulie’s l(...)

Keith Earls sat out Ireland’s training session at carton House on Tuesday. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

The Ireland squad limited themselves to a run-out of medium intensity for about 45 minutes amid the snow flurries at their Carton House base yesterday(...)

Seán O’Brien took a full part in Ireland’s training session at Carton House on Tuesday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Andrew Trimble (shoulder), Simon Zebo (knee) and Johnny Sexton (shoulder) all sat out training at Carton House on Tuesday but are expected to train on(...)

Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton kicks a penalty against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Johnny Sexton, so clearly in agony, only took leave of this Test match after ensuring Ireland regained parity at 16-16. Clearly the success and failu(...)

England’s frontrow Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley and Alex Corbisiero celebrate a scrum penalty awarded against Ireland in the 2012 St Patrick’s Day massacre

St Patrick’s Day 2012. Mike Ross departs, broken, by half-time. Six minutes later Philip Matthews, a durable blindside and Ireland captain through so(...)

CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 14: Ireland player Jamie Heaslip gets to grips with Alun Wyn Jones of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on March 14, 2015 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Super Saturday was indeed beyond superlative, but it does look a rather long time ago now. In glorious mid-March conditions the day rained points (2(...)

Rory Best congratulates Ian Humphreys after his try for Ulster in the Champions Cup victory over Oyonnax at Kingspan Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ulster 56 Oyonnax 3 Ultimately, as a place in the quarter-finals was prised from their grasp as the weekend unfolded, Ulster were left to lament prev(...)

Ulster’s Nick Williams in action against Connacht. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Maybe it’s the relative lack of Irish interest, but the final weekend of what is now the European Champions Cup somehow used to seem more fun. Mathe(...)

The service takes place on Monday at St Anne’s Cathedral.

Ulster Rugby players Ruan Pienaar, Wiehahn Herbst and Paul Marshall will be talking about their faith at a service in Belfast’s Church of Ireland St A(...)