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 (...)

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(...)

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 (...)

Ireland’s wing Dave Kearney grits his teeth as he looks to break the tackle of Canada fullback Matt Evans. Photograph: Damien Meyer/AFP Photo/Getty Images

Having a couple of big brothers to pave the way, not least with one of them breaking into the Leinster and Irish teams, has always been helpful for Da(...)

Rob Kearney: “So some people will be asked to double up again, and when you’re asked to double up at a World Cup, you’re more than happy.”

Rob Kearney is “more than happy” to chase peak match sharpness and start Ireland’s World Cup clash against Romania at Wembley Stadium on Sunday. Fullb(...)

Luke Fitzgerald was impressive for Ireland at 12 against Canada. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

What a start. Twickenham was bursting at the seams on Friday night. Standing pitchside, the Fijians swarmed around taking pictures of the crowd, engag(...)

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(...)

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 (...)

Iain Henderson, supported by Luke Fitzgerald, run at the Canadian defence during the  Rugby World Cup Group D encounter at the Milennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt caught everyone at unawares with this team selection for Canada. Despite, seemingly, bringing inside centre cover to the World Cup in the (...)

 Rob Kearney scores against the All Blacks: “It’s very hard to find a weakness but they are beatable. Ireland players know this now.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 5:12

So the million dollar question: should Ireland coach an offloading policy at this World Cup? I don’t think you can. You are either intuitively good(...)