Barbarians’ Zane Kirchner touches down to score a try in the game against an Ireland XVat Thomond park. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Barbarians 22 Ireland 21 The individual consequences will be more significant after Ireland slipped to a defeat at Thomond Park that will merely be a(...)

Irish Rugby Captain’s Run at Thomond Park: Colm O’Shea and Luke McGrath. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Joe Schmidt has distanced himself from last week’s upheaval at Leinster which saw Matt O’Connor removed as head coach two years into his three year co(...)

Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey could turn out to be a bolter for Ireland’s World Cup squad. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/Inpho

For the third year in succession an Emerging Ireland squad will head for Eastern Europe in early summer to compete in a tournament that at face value (...)

Leinster’s Ian Madigan was man of the match against Edinburgh. Photo: Robert Perry/Inpho

It may have been a season of under-achievement for Leinster but the former European champions made sure of finishing their campaign on a winning note (...)

Leinster’s Noel Reid breaks free to score a try in the Guinness Pro 12 game against Edinburgh at   Murrayfield. Photo: Robert Perry/Inpho

Edinburgh 23 Leinster 36 Edinburgh’s hopes of playing in the European Champions Cup next season were snuffed out when they lost 36-23 to a work(...)

Gordon D’Arcy could make his final home appearance for Leinster off the bench as they try to ensure a top-six finish. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Matt O’Connor on Thursday declined to resurrect the public disagreement with Ireland coach Joe Schmidt about how Leinster tripped up in their Pro12 l(...)

Gordon D’Arcy is named on the bench for Leinster. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ian Madigan returns to the Leinster team as one of five changes for their Pro12 clash with Treviso on Friday evening in the RDS. That means Gordon D’A(...)

Slim and sporty: the new Opel Astra takes to the forest roads between France and Germany

We’re threading along narrow forest roads that criss-cross between France and Germany. Every 10 minutes or so, the signs change from one lingua to the(...)

Ian Madigan has been dropped for Leinster’s must win Pro 12 game against Ulster at Ravenhill. Photograph: Inpho

In what could be seen as a boost to Gordon D’Arcy’s hopes of making Ireland’s World Cup squad,  Leinster coach Matt O’Connor has taken the dec(...)

Leinster’s Rob Kearney if tackled by Matt Giteau of Toulon during the European Champions Cup semi-final at Stade Velodrome, Marseille. Photograph: Billy Stickland.

Cian Healy remains a doubt due to shoulder damage but Matt O’Connor has intimated a similar team to the one that lost narrowly in Marseille on Sunday (...)