Bath’s director of rugby Mike ford talks to his son George, the outhalf of that club and England. George will have a pivotal position as kicker when England come to Dublin for the Six Nations game on Sunday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty.

Ellery Hanley and his entourage swept out the door. Mike Ford watched the departure of the man voted the greatest British rugby league player of all t(...)

Wasp’s Andy Goode reacts after missing a late drop goal attempt against Leinster at the Ricoh Arena. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Fortune favoured Leinster over the weekend, and a small fortune is coming their way to boot, but there was almost a final sting in the tale. With the (...)

Paddy ‘Rala’ O’Reilly celebrates with the Ireland rugby team on there way back to Dublin after winning the Six Nations last season. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Paddy O’Reilly, or ‘Rala’ as the Irish rugby team calls him, has been Ireland’s bagman for the last 20 years and ‘Baggage Master’, an uppity title (...)

Jared Payne: “I’m pretty passionate about it, seeing the environment Ireland have created over the last three years. It is something I want to be a part of.” Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Jared Payne story need not temper optimism.That was put to Joe Schmidt yesterday: has his optimism been tempered by so many injuries and the Spri(...)

Ulster’s Nick Williams and Jared Payne dejected after the loss to Toulon at the weekend. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Inpho

I thought Ulster would be better than this. It was arguable going into the start of the European season that they were actually the best placed Irish (...)

Ian Keatley made two of his six placed kicks as Munster beat Saracens in the European Rugby Champions Cup at Thomond Park. Photograph:   Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Although he only landed two of six kicks at goal, thereby leaving 11 points behind, Ian Keatley’s all-round game was warmly praised by his coach Antho(...)

 Munster outhalf Ian Keatley  looks up after kicking the match-winning drop-goal against Sale Sharks during the European  Champions Cup clash at the  AJ Bell Stadium in Salford, England. Photo:  Gareth Copley/Getty Images

A goal-kicker’s lot is different. His job spec affords him even more responsibility than a striker in football. Nor is it quite as unique as, say, a g(...)

 Leicester Tigers assistant coach Geordan Murphy talks to the head coach Richard Cockerill. Photograph: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Geordan Murphy has the flu. “Don’t have to check the drugs I’m taking anymore. Just pick the brightest colours.”The small joys of retirement. The Lei(...)

Tommy Bowe in action during Ulster’s recent Pro12 victory over Edinburgh. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/Inpho.

Senior members in the Ulster squad including Tommy Bowe were consulted before Neil Doak was appointed coach in the wake of a provincial cleanout of p(...)

Les Kiss: delighted to get the security in the long term and is focused on next year. Photograph: Inpho/Presseye/Jonathan Porter

In addition to confirming that Neil Doak will be Ulster’s head coach on a full-time basis, the IRFU has also announced that Les Kiss will resume his d(...)