Dave Kearney is tackled by two Italian defenders  during the  Pool D match  at the Olympic Stadium in London. Photo:  David Rogers/Getty Images

There’s no doubt in my mind that Ireland’s intensity will be vastly improved come France in Cardiff. The main question in departing the Olympic Stadiu(...)

Ireland struggled at times against Italy and captain Paul O’Connell feels the gameplan possibly needs to change. Photo: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Paul O’Connell is adamant Ireland need to hold on to the ball more, which to the untrained eye must seem an odd comment considering the amount John(...)

Robbie Henshaw is in line to make his World Cup debut in the Pool D game against Italy on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 7:17

Akin to other head coaches who have a clear selection strategy in this World Cup, although not all, Joe Schmidt is expected to largely revert to th(...)

Cian Healy is set to start for Ireland against Romania at Wembley on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho 6:20

Cian Healy is expected to start for Ireland against Romania on Sunday at Wembley stadium. The 28 year old, who surpassed fellow loosehead prop Nick P(...)

Conor Murray says he is up for playing in every World Cup game for Ireland. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Conor Murray has prepared himself to play a role in all of Ireland’s World Cup matches, with just two specialist scrum-halves in Joe Schmidt’s squad. (...)

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(...)

Keith Earls hold on to possession for Ireland against Canada during the opening World Cup Pool D match at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday afternoon. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA.

Tougher tests await for sure, but the sight of so many Irish players looking in prime nick was encouraging. It was particularly heartening to behold t(...)

Jared Payne’s ability to make the right decision makes him such a vital part of Ireland under Joe Schmidt. Photograph:  Michael Steele/Getty Images

It wasn’t perfect but it was entertaining and there was much to admire in the content of Ireland’s performance across various facets of the game in a (...)

Ireland hooker  Rory Best gets tackled by Canada’s Djustice Sears-Duru  during Rugby World Cup Pool D game at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph:  Mike Egerton/PA

Rob Kearney 7 Primarily a goalkeeping fullback who rules aerial exchanges, so crucial if Ireland are to see Twickenham next month, but he ran for 121 (...)

Canada’s flanker John Moonlight: “Ill met by Moonlight,” Barnes cracked. The guffaws from Conor McNamara and Liam Toland in the commentary box told us it was funny. So did Google, once we’d established that Barnes was referencing a 1950s Dirk Bogarde war movie from a non-fiction book by W Stanley Moss. You get a different level of badinage with the rugby lads.

Saturday lunchtime and the rugby World Cup is happening, people. Settle down at the back and start concentrating. And here’s news for you - if you (...)