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(...)

Conor Murray is confident going into his second World Cup. “We are in a very good place and I don’t think we should be shying away from that,” he says. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

This time four years ago it’s still remarkable to think that Conor Murray went into Ireland’s World Cup preparatory programme as fifth choice scrumhal(...)

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(...)

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 (...)

Connacht scrumhalf Kieran Marmion still has a chance of making Ireland’s World Cup squad. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Interprovincial Friendly Munster v Connacht Thomond Park, Friday, 7.45pm Kieran Marmion, if the theory holds, will make the breakthrough at interna(...)

Leinster tighthead prop Marty Moore had shoulder surgery twice in seven months. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Marty Moore needs to come through Friday’s Leinster versus Ulster match in Belfast to make Joe Schmidt’s 31-man World Cup squad. The 24-year-old tight(...)

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(...)

Irish captain Sean O’Brien presents the ball during Ireland’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on Saturday.  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 8:14

Two warm-up wins with very close to 100 per cent set piece and eight tries scored (five from backs!) is a very happy return from the 34 players bloode(...)

Sean O’Brien is brought down by the Scottish defence at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

15 Simon Zebo Not flawless, but ran some excellent lines, none more so than for his try that he finished superbly and also very good aerially. Rating:(...)