Tommy Bowe: Ireland international set to take the field against Cardiff. Photograph: William Cherry/Presseye/Inpho

As Italian side Zebre continue their Irish mini tour with Munster tonight, they may feel that the 33-13 hiding they got in Belfast last week was the w(...)

“All things being equal, Schmidt would pitch up against France on October 11th with a team closely resembling the starting XV that kicked off the Six Nations-clinching win in Paris.” Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images.

The World Cup opening ceremony and first match, between England and Fiji at Twickenham, is a year away tomorrow, with Ireland’s opener against Cana(...)

Ruaidhri Murphy: set to get chance off the bench as Ulster take on Zebre at Kingspan Stadium. Photograph: John Dickson/Inpho/Presseye.

A few years ago Ruaidhri Murphy, the then ACT Brumbies prop was ramping up a campaign in Australia to prove he should be eligible to play for the Wal(...)

Ireland and Ulster hooker Rory Best will make his first start of the season against Zebre. Photograph: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Ulster Captain Rory Best will make his first appearance of the season against Zebre at Ravenhill on Friday evening (kick-off 7.35pm). The British and (...)

Ulster’s Franco Van Der Merwe gets away from Scarlets’ Ken Owens. Photograph: Ian Cook/Inpho

Llanelli Scarlets 32 Ulster 32A last-minute try from Ireland wing Andrew Trimble saw Ulster snatch a draw against Scarlets in a dramatic and hugely e(...)

Franco Van Der Merwe is one of three players making his competitive bow for Ulster tomorrow.

Llanelli Scarlets v Ulster (Parc Y Scarlets, kick-off 2.40pm, Live on Sky Sports) The sub-text to Ulster’s first match of the season under i(...)

Ulster’s Craig Gilroy.  “I feel like I’m in with a shout and I can perform to my best again.” Photo: Matt Mackey/Presseye/Inpho

Ulster coach Mark Anscombe’s departure was messy and abrupt and following in the wake of director of rugby David Humphreys taking the boat to Gloucest(...)

Ireland’s Paul O’Connell is made  stretch to the limit as he wins this lineout in Saturday’s second Test at the Estadio JosŽ Fierro in Tucumán. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Any season that contains a Six Nations title has to be considered a good one, and the first campaign under Joe Schmidt was duly rounded off with a fir(...)

Simon Zebo breaks clear of the Argentina defence to score Ireland’s first try during the second Test in Tucumán, Argentina. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Argentina 17 Ireland 23: Ireland huffed and puffed in the clammy Tucumán air of north eastern Argentina to eventually complete a slightly laboured (...)

Ross Molony and Jack O’Donoghue will be key men for Ireland Under-20s against England in their Junior World Cup semi-final in North Harbour, New Zealand. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The Ringrose clan, St Michael’s College and UCD can take the most satisfaction from this odyssey. That’s what any journey to the penultimate stages o(...)