Mike Ross is vital to Ireland’s World Cup hopes despite his international career blooming late. Photograph: Getty

“Whenever the Springboks are under pressure coach Heyneke has got this story about how charcoal under big, big pressure becomes a diamond.” – Victor M(...)

A TMO interlude is announced during the Ireland v Canada clash at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.  Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters/Livepic

The England 2015 organisers couldn’t have scripted a better first weekend if they tried. An entertaining enough opening night win for the hosts, fu(...)

Luke Fitzgerald is set to start alongside Jared Payne in Ireland’s midfield for the opening World Cup game against Canada. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho 5:12

The severity of Robbie Henshaw’s injury should become apparent at Thursday’s team announcement but the Connacht centre has not made Joe Schmidt’s open(...)

Ireland fans celebrate victory after the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup Pool C match between Australia and Ireland at Eden Park on September 17, 2011 in Auckland. Photograph: Sandra Mu/Getty Images

1 - 1987 Ireland 46 Canada 19 - Carisbrook, Dunedin It didn’t turn out to be the most auspicious of World Cups for Ireland. Coach, t(...)

The 2011 Rugby World Cup semi-final defeat to Wales was Ronan O’gara’s last appearance for Ireland. Photograph: Getty

“It was an episode which has burned so deep into the heart and mind of Ireland that it is not yet possible for the historian to approach it with th(...)

Joe Marler of England hands off Conor Murray of Ireland during the World Cup warm-up game  at Twickenham. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images

In keeping with the nature of this phoney war, there has been a palpable sense of Ireland keeping their powder dry, or not showing their hand, over(...)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt faces a number of difficult decisions when it comes to selecting his squad for the World Cup. 2:54

Some celebrated outside backs are likely to miss out on the Ireland 31-man squad when it is submitted to the World Cup organisers by 5pm on Monday. No(...)

Donnacha Ryan in action during the Ireland squad’s training session at Carton House, Kildare yesterday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Iinpho 2:37

Donnacha Ryan, the nutcracker, what do we really know of him? A man from Nenagh hurling stock. A man who broke the concrete exterior of the Munster(...)

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt will be seeking to fine-tune Ireland’s game plan in the weeks ahead. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Prior to the World Cup four years ago, Ireland would have traded four warm-up defeats for four wins in the pool stages, and that is exactly what trans(...)

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(...)