Grenoble’s head coach Bernard Jackman arriving for  the club’s home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final clash with Connacht last weekend. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

More Irish coaches are cutting their teeth abroad than ever before, and with Anthony Foley and Leo Cullen heading largely indigenous tickets at Munste(...)

  Josh Van der Flier in action against England. All three of Ireland’s new caps are capable of having  a bigger impact on the game. Photo:  Clive Mason/Getty Images

I smashed my forearm to smithereens playing Italy in 2008. Three invasive surgeries later and the eight fractures had not healed properly so I was fo(...)

Jamie Heaslip: “If you are an Irishman and you’re playing tiddlywinks against an Englishman, or chess or scrabble, you want to beat him.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

At face value, it looks like the toughest fixture this season’s RBS Six Nations itinerary can throw up. England, rejuvenated under Eddie Jones, are tw(...)

England’s frontrow Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley and Alex Corbisiero celebrate a scrum penalty awarded against Ireland in the 2012 St Patrick’s Day massacre

St Patrick’s Day 2012. Mike Ross departs, broken, by half-time. Six minutes later Philip Matthews, a durable blindside and Ireland captain through so(...)

Michael Conlan kisses coach Billy Walsh after winning the world bantamweight semi-final. Something that was working got taken apart and destroyed. Photograph: Paul Mohan

A few days after Seamus Heaney died in 2013, there was an Ireland soccer international in Lansdowne. It was against Sweden, right at the fag end of th(...)

Gordon D’Arcy celebrates with his  team-mates after scoring against France after his return from injury  in 2009. “The lads mobbed me because they understood what their team-mate had been through, where he had to climb from to wear a green jersey again.” Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP

Being a recently retired player I know how everyone in the Ireland squad will be feeling. As Sunday comes closer public fears might be growing about F(...)

Simon Easterby: ‘The defence has to be watertight. That has been a real focus.’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

True to the Joe Schmidt script, Simon Easterby is not one to look beyond the next match. Nor is he inclined to look back on the World Cup campaign of (...)

Eddie O’Sullivan: Foreign coaches tend not to flourish in French club rugby.  Photograph: Alan Betson

News of Eddie O’Sullivan’s apparent dismissal as head coach of Biarritz Olympique will have understandably disappointed the many pundits, coaches a(...)

An Ireland fan looks dejected during the IRB RWC Quarter Final match between Ireland and Wales at Wellington Regional Stadium in 2011. Photograph: Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images

1- 1987 Ireland 6 Wales 13 - Athletic Park, Wellington It was two years since Ireland had won the Triple Crown under Mick Doyle(...)

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(...)