Joe Schmidt: has achieved a 78 per cent win ratio as coach of Ireland with 14 victories in 18 Test matches. Photo:  Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA

The road to All Blacks coach is mapped out in the New Zealand rugby union’s coaching manual: know thy enemy by gaining “offshore” experience. Ideal(...)

Simon Zebo: “I feel really fresh now, excited and hopefully my best rugby will come out.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Excluding the natural skills of Simon Zebo from Ireland’s World Cup squad would shock. Not unlike Declan Kidney cutting Luke Fitzgerald in 2011, wh(...)

Joe Schmidt will continue as Ireland  coach until the summer of 2017. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Irish rugby has received a huge boost ahead of the World Cup with news that head coach Joe Schmidt has signed a two-year extension that will keep him (...)

Joe Schmidt says the experience of Less Kiss will be invaluable when selecting Ireland’s squad for this year’s World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

In the aftermath of the disappointing Irish performance and defeat to the Barbarians in Thomond Park on Thursday night, Joe Schmidt gave little pointe(...)

Donnacha Ryan: “I just have to manage my situation and see how I pull up each day. It’s all about the moment.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

There doesn’t appear to be any potential bolter for Ireland’s World Cup squad, but if a player is to emerge from the shadows to play for Joe Schmidt (...)

The IRFU have opened contract talks with Irleand coach Joe Schmidt. Photograph: Inpho

The IRFU have confirmed they are in talks to tie Ireland coach Joe Schmidt to the role beyond this year’s rugby World Cup, after which his current dea(...)

South African flanker Francois Louw believes emergence of such English talent as George Ford and Jonathan Joseph bodes well for Somerset club. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Francois Louw, the Springbok flanker, sounds like a man who lives in the moment, his focus not on some other week or other place but very much this w(...)

Ireland fans at the Euro 2012 game against Croatia in Poznan. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

I once had a conversation with an Irish soccer international a couple of days after the Irish rugby team had suffered a famous defeat. He produced his(...)

Shane Williams dives past Ireland’s Keith Earls to score a Welsh try during the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarter-final in New Zealand. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty.

Shane Williams is talking about endangered species in rugby union. His own kind. The little men. Craig Gilroy gets a mention. All six foot (183cm) and(...)

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(...)