Wales Captain Sam Warburton returns to the starting line-up for Saturday’s World Cup warm-up against Italy. Photograph: PA

Sam Warburton will make his first appearance of Wales’ World Cup warm-up schedule when he returns to lead the team in Saturday’s clash against Millenn(...)

Justin Tipuric is tackled by Ireland’s Iain Henderson on Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

On Friday I felt Wales required a bigger performance than Ireland. That certainly arrived and that Ireland couldn’t dictate as they did in Cardiff is (...)

Ireland fullback Rob Kearney rises high to claim the ball ahead of Wales outhalf Dan Biggar at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Fittingly the heavens opened for the last quarter, which suited the team in front, which was deservedly Wales. And so it was that the Red Dragonhood r(...)

Ireland’s Iain Henderson in action in the World Cup warm-up match against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:   Cathal McNaughton/Action Images via Reuters/Livepic 11:57

Ireland 10 Wales 16 The cascading rain that enveloped the Aviva stadium for the final 10 minutes of the contest provided a suitably leaden hued backdr(...)

Tadhg Furlong and Cian Healy taking part in Ireland’s squad session at Carton House. Furlong is expected to make his debut off the bench while Healy is nearing  full fitness. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 7:17

While tomorrow’s Irish line-up looks more familiar, opportunity again knocks for a chosen few against an equally more familiar and potent Wales. And (...)

George North returns for Wales to win his 50th cap against Ireland. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

Alun Wyn Jones will lead Wales out against Ireland in the Aviva on Saturday, in the absence of Sam Warburton as head coach Warren Gatland selects a ne(...)

Warren Gatland has named nine uncapped players in his 47-man training squad for the Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Getty

The Wales head coach Warren Gatland has turned to the Premiership as he starts preparing in earnest for the World Cup. His training squad of 47 for th(...)

 Paddy Butler scores Munster’s  third try in the Guinness Pro 12 play-off at  Thomond Park. Photo:   Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Munster 21 Ospreys 18 Wild celebrations yes, but relief wasn’t the half of it as Munster nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory before then s(...)

Peter O’Mahony returns to the Munster side for their Pro 12 play-off semi-final against the Ospreys. Photogrpah: Inpho

Captain Peter O’Mahony and Simon Zebo both return to the Munster side for their Pro 12 semi final against Ospreys at Thomond Park on Saturday. O’Mahon(...)

Connacht’s Bundee Aki is tackled by Justin Tipuric of Ospreys during the Guinness Pro 12 game at  The Sportsground in Galway. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht 20 Ospreys 24 Connacht finished in seventh place in this season’s Guinness Pro 12 to keep their hopes of Champions Cup rugby alive. (...)