Paddy Jackson: “Whether it’s Johnny or Mads, we’re going up against each other, but . . .I’ll just be trying to focus on my own game.” Photograph: Stephen Hamilton/Presseye/Inpho

By and large, this season has seen Paddy Jackson’s Test career stall a tad. But his development as an outhalf has progressed significantly, and, lest(...)

 Finlay Bealham is tackled by Munster duo Billy Holland and Donnacha Ryan –  the Connacht man’s  technique around the breakdown was magnificent.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

As soon as the final whistle blew I left the Sportsground. I collected my car at The Connacht Hotel and off to Dublin I went to catch a long haul plan(...)

The Sportsground has turned away Connacht supporters two weeks running.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The atmosphere at the Sportsground is like never before. The old dog track is rocking to the sound of the Connacht faithful roaring on their team to (...)

Connacht’s coach Pat Lam celebrates with skills coach Dave Ellis after the province’s Pro12 victory over Munster at  The Sportsground, Galway. Photograph: Inpho

GERRY THORNLEY This truly felt momentous, seismic even. In front of a record, near 8,000 sell-out, Saturday night at the Sportsground witnessed not (...)

Sene Naoupu in action for Ireland in the Women’s Six Nations Championship. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Sunday lunchtimes in Donnybrook. Ireland versus Italy and Scotland. Much work needed on the skills front. Plenty of sevens players learning to play ru(...)

Such has been winger Matt Healy’s improvement over the last couple of seasons with Connacht that he was recently invited to train with the Ireland squad. Photograph: Billy stickland/Inpho

The Guinness Pro12’s leading try scorer would not where he is today were it not for Lansdowne. And Matt Healy probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t f(...)

Robbie Henshaw in action during the  Ireland open training session at Mullingar RFC. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Robbie Henshaw yesterday revealed that he agonised over his decision to leave Connacht for Leinster next season, thanking his current province for hi(...)

Michael Kiernan attempts a drop goal over Mark Ring during Ireland-Wales Five Nations match at Cardiff Arms Park in 1987. Ireland won 15-11. Photograph: Simon Bruty/Allsport

Meetings between Ireland and Wales are akin to a two-horse race, but at times over the last two or three decades it’s been easier to pick the winner o(...)

“I can’t really separate myself from this job. I can’t separate myself from Munster because it’s been 21 years nearly now,” says Anthony Foley. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Virtually since birth, Munster have been in Anthony Foley’s blood, whether as a boy being taken into the rarified confines of the Thomond Park home dr(...)

Munster coach Anthony Foley will remain at the province until the end of the 2016-17 season at least. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

In a striking statement of faith in their head coach at a time of difficulty after three defeats in a row, including a damaging loss to Leicester in t(...)