Ireland rugby squad training in Newport, Wales. Coach Joe Schmidt believes game against France will be decided on tiniest of margins. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

This is it then. The World Cup has finally arrived for Ireland and France. From now on, things become altogether more serious. For the winners, a seve(...)

Jared Payne will not  face France on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 5:54

The French would have been mid-session this afternoon when word filtered through that Keith Earls will be wearing number 13 for Ireland on Sunday at t(...)

Cian Healy tees off at Celtic Manor in Wales as the Irish squad enjoyed a down day ahead of the World Cup game against FRance on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 5:10

Two days out from the biggest games of their respective tenures, Joe Schmidt and Philippe Saint-André are expected to retain the tried and trusted (...)

 Paul O’Connell and Rob Kearney at the Celtic Manor Resort where the Ireland squad is based in advance of Sunday’s clash with France. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Penarth is home. A quiet village four train stops from the Millennium Stadium and sleepless Cardiff sounds. Thanks to rigorous scoping on Airbn(...)

Devin Toner has rubbished French comparisons between Johnny Sexton and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Photograph: Afp

They did this to Ronan O’Gara before the 2007 World Cup showdown in Paris. Guess who’s in the subtlest of firing lines eight years on? Mischievous Fre(...)

Peter O’Mahony’s brilliant try-saving tackle on Italy’s Josh Furno proved vital in Sunday’s Pool D encounter at the Olympic Stadium. Photograph:  Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

This evening’s individual review process for the Ireland team will be a little painful for most as Ireland coach Joe Schmidt analyses the performance (...)

Ireland’s Iain Henderson tackles Italy’s  Edoardo Gori during the Pool D match at the Olympic Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Iain Henderson watch proved a fruitful expedition. Can Ireland afford not to have him on the field in those final moments against France now that it’s(...)

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell is braced for a physical encounter with italy at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland expect to be “battered up front and pushed to the limit” by Italy in Sunday’s crucial World Cup encounter at London’s Olympic Stadium. Captain(...)

Robbie Henshaw is in line to make his World Cup debut in the Pool D game against Italy on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 7:17

Akin to other head coaches who have a clear selection strategy in this World Cup, although not all, Joe Schmidt is expected to largely revert to th(...)

 Keith Earls and Simon Zebo were two of Ireland’s standout performers in their 44-10 win over Romania at Wembley. Photograph: Reuters

Another bonus point victory with the 44-10 over Romania and the only caveat in injury terms, appears to be a glute issue sustained by replacement Rob (...)