Jared Payne will not  face France on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 5:54

The French would have been mid-session this afternoon when word filtered through that Keith Earls will be wearing number 13 for Ireland on Sunday at t(...)

Peter O’Mahony and Jonathan Sexton go through their warm-up routines ahead of Ireland squad training at Surrey Sports Park in Guilford. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Rise up this morning and went to Ireland’s media gathering in Guildford. Simon Zebo is doing television.This is interesting for two reasons. Th(...)

England captain Chris Robshaw and head coach Stuart Lancaster face the media after their defeat to Wales at Twickenham. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Ten days into the tournament and one could do a PhD on decision-making and psychology. Think of Japan beating South Africa or the Welsh medical sta(...)

Devin Toner and Keith Earls celebrate after Earls scored Ireland’s opening try of the Rugby World Cup pool match against Romania. Photo: Andrew Coulridge/Reuters 6:25

What do Devin Toner, Chris Henry and Tommy Bowe have in common? Not so long ago they were certain starters in Joe Schmidt’s Ireland team. The problem (...)

Simon Zebo  gets away from Romania’s Viorel Lucaci during Ireland’s 44-10 win in their Rugby World Cup pool match at Wembley. Photo: David Davies/ PA 6:25

Wingers are the tallymen of rugby. It’s all about the figures. Tommy Bowe crossed for his 29th and 30th tries for his country and he’ll have enjoyed b(...)

Ireland props Nathan White and Tadgh  Furlong during a training session at   St George’s Park in Staffordshire. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Four years ago, as Ireland were progressing through their pool in the World Cup, Tadgh Furlong was watching their games from home, having just complet(...)

Luke Fitzgerald challenges for a high ball with Matt Evans during Ireland’s opening World Cup match against Canada. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images 1:56

The odds on Ireland winning Pool D shortened from 4/6 to 4/7 in the aftermath of beating Canada, and while that may seem a little premature, it tak(...)

England winger Jonny May celebrates scoring their first try during the World Cup warm-up  at Twickenham. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images

One of a few positives coming out of Twickenham is the scoreboard. Only losing 21-13 to a rampant English team – with a powerful pack and dazzling win(...)

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell gets over for a try during the second half of the World Cup warm-up game at Twickenham. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

England 21 Ireland 13 The result may not have been terribly important but while this was the restorative win which was prescribed for England, it was (...)

 Simon Zebo is tackled by Scotland’s Seán Lamont during their World Cup Warm-Up match atthe  Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photograph: Inpho

Devin Toner, Paul O’Connell, Iain Henderson, Seán O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip are currently my starting 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 against France on October 11th.(...)