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(...)

Keith Wood dives to score his third of four tries in Ireland’s win over the USA in the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Jonah Lomu, Bryan Habana, Chester Williams, Marc Ellis, Chris Latham and Keith Wood - what do they all have in common? Well, they’ve all scored four t(...)

Putting it on the line: Ireland’s Keith Wood powers over for a  try against England in their 2001 Six Nations match. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

It’s the big one, simple as. Ireland against England has a resonance, a sense of history and occasion which surpasses all other Irish fixtures. Be it (...)

Ireland’s Simon Geoghegan scores a try against England at Twickenham in 1994 Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Games Ireland won that they might have lost 1994: Ireland was beaten by France 35-15 and then Wales came to Dublin to add a second defeat, this time 1(...)

Mils Muliaina, confronted here by Phil Burleigh of Edinburgh, will captain Connacht against La Rochelle. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

One of the abiding memories from the Sportsground last week was the performance of 25-year-old Connacht wing Matt Healy. He was quite simply exceptio(...)

Connacht head coach Pat Lam says he wouldn’t be working in Galway if the province didn’t match his ambition. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

“We’re pretty blessed to be in quite a special place,” says Pat Lam. In a sense, he has made it that way for his family, for the Connacht team, for t(...)

Pat Lam has signed a new three-year deal that will keep him at Connacht until the summer of 2018 at least. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Connacht have signed coach Pat Lam up to a further three-year deal that will see the popular New Zealander extend his stay with the province until th(...)

Connacht’s players celebrate their defeat of Munster on New Year’s Day. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

For Connacht devotees, these must be strange times. Somewhere Monty Hall’s old gem – “I became an overnight success after 20 years” – must be rattling(...)