Of all the the emerging young players on the tour of Argentina, the one  who made the biggest impression on Joe Schmidt was flanker  Rhys Ruddock. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

It was a small, relatively throwaway remark but it was worth noting nonetheless. “This was my first tour,” Joe Schmidt reminded us, and you forget, fo(...)

Simon Zebo breaks clear of the Argentina defence to score Ireland’s first try during the second Test in Tucumán, Argentina. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Argentina 17 Ireland 23: Ireland huffed and puffed in the clammy Tucumán air of north eastern Argentina to eventually complete a slightly laboured (...)

Fergus McFadden, who will don the Ireland number 13 jersey against Argentina tomorrow, taking part in the captain’s run at the Estadio Centenario, Tucumán. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland have plumped for a more experienced and proven side for the second Test against Argentina in the Estadio José Fierro in Tucumán tomorrow (kick(...)

Seán Dougall (left) and his Munster team-mates after their defeat to Toulon on Sunday.

With some degree of difficulty, one would imagine, Munster have to quickly turn their attention toward the Ra(...)

For Munster to keep the ball on or beyond the gain line against Toulon in Marseille. James Downey (with ball, above), in particular, must get flat, quick ball ad nauseam. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

I’ve a different view on Leinster’s performance against Toulon. It was said by themselves and others they didn’t land a punch; but in not conce(...)

Andrew Conway breaks clear to score Munster’s first try in the  RaboDirect Pro12 game against Connacht at  The Sportsground in Galway. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Connacht 23 Munster 32: Munster warmed up for their Heineken Cup semi-final again(...)

Ireland’s hooker Rory Best gets some close attention from England’s Mike Brown and England’s fullback Alex Goode and England’s Dylan Hartley during the Six Nations clash at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin last year. 1:51

Rory Best renews acquaintances with old foe Dylan Hartley next Saturday, and bearing in mind how England extracted such huge psycholo(...)

Leinster prop Martin Moore is in line to make his Ireland debut in the Six Nations opener against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday. Photograph:  Michael Steele/Getty Images

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has included three uncapped forwards in his 34-man squad for Sunday’s opening Six Nations clash with Scotland and the hom(...)

Srumhalf Conor Murray’s feed sends Simon Zebo over for a simple finish in the left corner in yesterday’s Heineken Cup game at Thomond Park. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

This bordered on a rout. The whiff of vengeance for the events of Murrayfield and the sniff of a home quarter-final at their Thomond Park citadel ensu(...)

Ulster forwards Rory Best, Callum Black and Dan Tuohy arrive for training at  Pirrie Park in Belfast on Thursday. Photograph: Brian Little/Inpho/Presseye

Ireland hooker Rory Best will make his 150th appearance for Ulster in Saturday’s Heineken Cup Pool 5 decider away to Leicester Tigers at Welford Road (...)