Munster’s Billy Holland wins a lineout in the Guinness Pro12  game against Ulster at Thomond Park, where the north and south terrace was closed. Photograph:    Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Perception is, perhaps, everything. Coming hard on the heels of defeats to Glasgow and a second-string Ulster at the tail end of last season were l(...)

“As a professional athlete you’re criticised to your face every week, that’s part of the game. You go into analysis and you’re critiqued and you’re told, ‘right, you messed up here’.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Perhaps it’s a measure of the cold pragmatism that runs through professional rugby, or simply a career that among the many things it teaches, is to be(...)

 Gordon D’Arcy could wear the number 13 jersey for Ireland acording to David Wallace. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Gordon D’Arcy could prove Ireland boss Joe Schmidt’s surprise choice to succeed Brian O’Driscoll at outside centre.Ireland’s Kiwi coach must quickly s(...)

Eastern Region athletes LJ Ryan (17) from Blanchardstown in Co Dublin  and Adam Lalor (19) from Clonee Co Dublin after competing in the Mini Javelin heats at the Special Olympics Ireland Games at the University of Limerick. Photograph: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

There are almost 70 years between them but the excitement felt by the oldest and youngest athletes competing at Special Olympics Ireland is perfectly (...)

Connacht athletes take part in the parade through Limerick city this evening. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho 0:47

Forget São Paulo, for unforgottable sporting opening ceremonies, Limerick was the place to be tonight as the city opened its arms to welcome Special O(...)

Peter O’Mahony: “You wouldn’t think of it when you were younger. You’d dream of it, but you’d say to yourself ‘don’t be silly like, to think about it’. But it’s Ireland-England at Twickenham on Saturday, and I’m playing number six. It’s mad.” Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Not only does Peter O’Mahony freely admit that he never had the capacity to play anything other than rugby, listening to him recount his career fro(...)

Because Seán O’Brien has such phenomenal leg drive tacklers go low because they know it’s the only way to bring him down. If leg-tackled, he  pivots to lay the ball back and right away the scrumhalf is in to take crisp, clean ball. That’s what makes him so valuable. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Watching Leinster play without Seán O’Brien on Sunday, only confirmed again how difficult it will be for them if and when he moves to France. It was a(...)

PSNI Constable Steve Douglas and assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey carry the flame of hope to the ceremony in Limerick. Photograph: Seán Curtin

Almost €2 million needs to be raised to fund the 2014 Special Olympics Ireland Games in Limerick next summer.At an event to mark the launch of the gam(...)

David Wallace massaged by Willie Bennett at the Ireland rugby training camp in 2001: “Nobody actually believes me that this actually happened. They think that I set it up, that I put on a tape or something and got them to pose for it. But genuinely I just happened to be in the room and it came on the television. It was a complete happy coincidence. They weren’t paying any attention to me, they were just working away. Willie was giving him a massage and there was different stuff on the TV. And then this shot came up and obviously when they saw it, they started laughing.”

The All Blacks were coming, coming. Tacking their merciless way down towards the Havelock Square end. Aside from the referee and the 15 Irish men tryi(...)

Jonah Lomu of New Zealand is tackled by Shane Horgan and Brian O’Driscoll of Ireland at Lansdowne Road in 2001. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Inpho

“Ireland is a pretty significant place for me having played my first Test here . . . ” – Richie McCaw, New Zealand captainOne hundred and twenty two T(...)