When the word is mentioned, Keven Mealamu and Sam Whitelock inhale deeply, glance down at their feet for a second, then lock eyes with the one guarant(...)

Ian Madigan’s body language might appear cocky to some, but it is because he realises a goal-kicking outhalf has to impart that to his team-mates. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

The remnants of the Blarney Army awoke a little bleary-eyed to a sapphire blue Cardiff sky and glorious sunshine, and yet another remarkable clean-up (...)

Shane Lowry using a sand wedge to putt on the 13th green during the Irish Open at Royal County Down. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Presseye/Inpho

I had an interesting phone call on Friday evening last after that incident with the putter at Royal County Down. My coach, Neil Manchip, had walked ni(...)

Johnny Sexton talks Racing Métro, ‘Charlie Hebdo’, fatherhood, goal-kicking and going to the Louvre to “spend 40 quid on two coffees”. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie

He’s home and in Ireland camp for three weeks for a targeted comeback in round two at home to France. He’s also coming home with a four-year deal to p(...)

Ian Madigan’s eye for a gap echoes that of his boyhood hero, Carlos Spencer, whom he describes as ‘a magician’. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Being able to play well in a number of positions can be a double-edged sword. Much as Ian Madigan would like to be a specialist outhalf, his ability t(...)

Brian O’Driscoll speaks to  Craig Doyle before the Harlequins and Castres Champions Cup match on Friday night. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Brian O’Driscoll was arrested for assault in June 2008. The former Ireland captain writes in his autobiography, The Test - which was serialised in The(...)

Ireland forwards coach Peter Bracken talks to his players during an Irish squad session at the  FFR HQ, Marcoussis, Paris. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Enda McNulty, Irish rugby’s motivational guru, will not be pleased by this World Cup portrait starting with a splash of negative hue. It’s those dark (...)

Kilkenny’s Jackie Tyrell: “If doubts and fears start creeping in going for a ball you’ll be found out.”

Jackie Tyrrell is 31. Neither old nor young, in hurling or life. On the cusp of championship season number 12, he was brought into the Nowlan Park (...)

Isa Nacewa celebrates with his Leinster team-mates following victory over Ulster in the RaboDirect PRO12 Grand Final at the RDS in May. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Former Leinster favourite Isa Nacewa is settling into life back in New Zealand. Still only 31, his playing boots remain firmly on the shelf and he’s b(...)

The half-time speech is a an integral weapon in every manager’s armoury.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Armagh played Kerry in the 2002 All-Ireland football final. By half-time, they were going down the swanee. They’d lost John McEntee to concussion. Ois(...)