Johnny Sexton was named man of the match in Ireland’s 18-11 Six nations win over France at the Aviva Stadium.  (Photograph: REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton)

Ireland player ratingsRob Kearney 7Made nine carries for 53 metres. A jarring, wrap tackle on Scott Spedding earned an important 24th minute penalty a(...)

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 (...)

Tommy O’Donnell gets over the line to score Ireland’s second try against Italy at Stadio Olimpico, Rome. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

The fall from grace, when it happens, can be sudden and unforgiving. Especially in this Ireland squad, under the stern gaze of this head coach Tommy (...)

Ireland's Jordi Murphy in the 2014 Six Nations match against England at Twickenham. Photograph: ©INPHO/James Crombie

Rugby’s “unseen work” is a term that can be bandied about during rugby commentary. It’s usually spoken of with regard to forwards, particularly the(...)

Conor Murray: “I’ve done my contact, I’ve done my bag work, I’ve tackled a few of the lads and I feel good, 2:35

The Irish management have not yet assessed number eight Jamie Heaslip for Ireland’s opening match of the Six Nations Championship against Italy. Train(...)

Ireland’s Conor Murray in action: the scrumhalf has  been passed fit to play against Italy in Rome this Saturday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Conor Murray and Dave Kearney, two constants in last season’s victorious Six Nations side, have been passed fit to play against Italy in Rome this Sat(...)

Jack Conan has been rewarded for a series of standout  displays for Leinster with a place in an extended 46-man Ireland and Wolfhounds squad. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Jack Conan’s standout season with Leinster has been rewarded with a place in Joe Schmidt’s extended 46-man Ireland squad for the opening Six Nations g(...)

Chris Henry wears jacket 425, shirt 160, twill trousers 135. Simon Zebo wears Bomber jacket 445, shirt 95, jeans 135. Jamie Heaslip wears Jacket 375, shirt 115, jeans 125. Photograph: Sean Jackson

Whether scrumhalves or flankers, they are built like tanks these days. Irish rugby stars are top athletes in prime condition, strong and ferociousl(...)

Ulster’s Dan Tuohy will miss the Six Nations after thumb surgery. Photograph: James Crombie / Inpho

Ulster and Ireland secondrow Dan Tuohy will miss the majority of the Six Nations Championship because of thumb surgery. The player suffered a torn lig(...)

Leinster’s Jamie Heaslip receives treatment from physio Garreth Farrell during the weekend’s match with Ulster. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Now that Mr Indestructible, Jamie Heaslip, has sustained right shoulder damage, the provincial coaches are in agreement on one point after Leinster’s(...)