Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw: centre is credited with 14 to 16 tackles against Italy. “Sixteen tackles, that won’t do. I’ll have to improve that, going to have to look to put in a harder shift again,” he said. Photograph: Inpho

A time in their lives these rugby men will never forget. It’s a week in which they beat Italy, watched the Republic of Ireland conquer Germany and Nor(...)

Ireland winger  Tommy Bowe scores a try against France in 2012. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

2012 Six Nations Championship France 17 Ireland 17, Stade de France This was the first draw between the sides since 1985 and represented (...)

Ireland fans outside the Olympic Stadium in London ahead of the World Cup Pool D game  against Italy. Photograph:   James Crombie/Inpho

Long before the match had started the green shirts were bobbing around town. Two of them outside KFC on Leicester Square were tearing apart a spiced c(...)

Keith Earls went over twice for Ireland during their win over Romania at Wembley. Photograph: Afp 6:25

Ireland 44 Romania 10 Job done with a bonus point, and Ireland move on to the serious stuff seemingly in better form, with more variety and ass(...)

A TMO interlude is announced during the Ireland v Canada clash at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.  Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters/Livepic

The England 2015 organisers couldn’t have scripted a better first weekend if they tried. An entertaining enough opening night win for the hosts, fu(...)

New Zealand captain Richie McCaw gets ready to scrum down with his fellow forwards during the Bledisloe Cup match against Australia at Eden Park, Auckland, in August. Photograph:  Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

They are here to win the World Cup. They think it and look it. They behave it and live it. A knife-edge blend of stunning confidence and old-school co(...)

Ireland centre Jared Payne, seen here holding off George Ford at Twickenham, has become a pivotal part of the Ireland midfield. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images

It’s not Jared Payne’s fault that he’s the one filling a position previously held by Ireland’s greatest ever player. Identified in 2010, recruited a (...)

 Rob Kearney scores against the All Blacks: “It’s very hard to find a weakness but they are beatable. Ireland players know this now.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 5:12

So the million dollar question: should Ireland coach an offloading policy at this World Cup? I don’t think you can. You are either intuitively good(...)

The certificate granting the ‘Freedom of the City of Dublin’ to the artist Sir John Lavery in 1935 has turned up after 80 years and is to be sold at auction later this month. Photograph: Fine Art & Collectibles Auctioneers & Valuers

The certificate granting the Freedom of the City of Dublin to the artist Sir John Lavery in 1935 has turned up after 80 years and is to be sold at auc(...)

“Joe Schmidt is tactically one of the best coaches in the world though, and always brings the best out of the squad.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Joe Schmidt has adopted a “risky strategy” in preparing Ireland to peak for a potential World Cup Pool D decider against France, according to Ben Kay.(...)