Leinster coach Leo Cullen said his team’s performance against Wasps in the European Champions Cup at the RDS was “pretty awful”. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

A week for Leinster ended the way it always seemed to have been heading. As Leo Cullen counted the frontline players that were not available – Rob (...)

 Anthony Foley’s side should pick up a bonus point against Treviso. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The Champions Cup opening salvo proves there’s always a new mountain to climb even if the provinces are still paying that heavy World Cup toll. Let’s (...)

Leinster’s Dominic Ryan is tackled by Michael Tagicakibau of Scarlets during the Guinness Pro 12 game at the RDS. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster 19 Scarlets 15 A beautifully mild night and not a breath of wind in the RDS warmed a thin enough crowd behind the goals in Dublin’s Ba(...)

Ireland’s Johnny Sexton is expected to start against Argentina. Photo: Getty Images

Irish team manager Mick Kearney has given the broadest hint yet that Johnny Sexton will be fit to start Ireland’s World Cup quarter-final against Arge(...)

Ireland’s hooker Rory Best braces himself as two French players move in for the tackle. Photograph: Damien Meyer/AFP Photo/Getty Images

Sometimes the mistakes don’t matter because those imperfections are superseded by the integrity of application and unflinching belief. It takes cou(...)

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

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(...)

Cian Healy tees off at Celtic Manor in Wales as the Irish squad enjoyed a down day ahead of the World Cup game against FRance on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Two days out from the biggest games of their respective tenures, Joe Schmidt and Philippe Saint-André are expected to retain the tried and trusted (...)

Jared Payne: Joe Schmidt stated Sunday night he expects to choose his team from a fully available 31-man squad. Photograph: Inpho

Jared Payne will take part in a walk through with the Irish squad on Tuesday, and is expected to take part in a full session on Wednesday meaning h(...)

 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(...)

Captain Paul O’Connell and Peter O’Mahony during Ireland squad training at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford, Surrey. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The odds on Ireland delivering a knockout blow to Italy and thus setting up a toe-to-toe pool decider against France in Cardiff a week hence have, if (...)