Ireland secondrow Devin Toner will hope to fend off the challenge of Iain Henderson and Donnacha Ryan and partner Paul O’Connell in the scrum. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Waiting by the phone for a phone call from the boss is no one’s idea of a pleasant Sunday, and that was certainly true of the Irish players vying for (...)

Darren Cave is set to provide midfield cover for Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payneat the World Cup. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

As has been the case with other World Cup squad selections, there was always going to be some risk-taking when Joe Schmidt and his coaches finalise(...)

Ireland flanker Jordi Murphy had a tough day against the outstanding Justin Tipuric of Wales during the World Cup warm-up at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Iain Henderson or Devin Toner? It’s not really a tough call anymore. The second best forward in Ireland these past six months, this 23-year-old Craiga(...)

Scotland’s Hugh Blake is tackled by Ireland’s Gordon D’Arcy during the World Cup warm-up match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

As Usain Bolt cantered across the 200m line yesterday I couldn’t help but notice how the great Jamaican transformed a struggling season, spent largely(...)

Ian Madigan could play at scrumhalf if necessary for Ireland.

Murphy’s Law – “whatever can go wrong, will” – is something Australia coach Michael Cheika is unlikely to take too seriously. While most teams (...)

Ireland’s Devin Toner during the captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Six tries against Ireland in the two games against Wales and Scotland and despite winning, it sometimes feels as if looking at the negative side of(...)

Ireland fullback Simon Zebo breaks free to score a try in the 61st-minute against Scotland in the Rugby World Cup warm-up game at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 8:14

This was a sloppier, less accurate Irish performance, but Scotland put up a more meaningful and exacting challenge than Wales a week previously, wh(...)

Ian Keatley has been left out of Ireland’s 45-man training squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has named his 45-man training squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup. Notable absentees from Schmidt’s squad include Ian Kea(...)

Barbarians’ Zane Kirchner touches down to score a try in the game against an Ireland XVat Thomond park. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Barbarians 22 Ireland 21 The individual consequences will be more significant after Ireland slipped to a defeat at Thomond Park that will merely be a(...)

Luke Fitzgerald has played 663 minutes for Leinster in the Pro12 this season, 41.4% of the total 1,600. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

When measured by the number of minutes played, at least half a dozen of Leinster’s frontline players have not been playing for their province during (...)