Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby, head coach Joe Schmidt and assistant coach Les Kiss at the Ireland World Cup squad announcement. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Having burned the midnight oil on Saturday night analysing the defeat to Wales, Joe Schmidt rose early on Sunday to analyse Ulster’s game in Edinbu(...)

Ian Madigan in action during an Ireland training session at Carton House on Tuesday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt has revealed that he spoke to Ian Madigan as long ago as last season about the possibility of being a backup scrumhalf. Madigan, who re(...)

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 fullback Rob Kearney rises high to claim the ball ahead of Wales outhalf Dan Biggar at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Fittingly the heavens opened for the last quarter, which suited the team in front, which was deservedly Wales. And so it was that the Red Dragonhood r(...)

Ireland’s Iain Henderson in action in the World Cup warm-up match against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:   Cathal McNaughton/Action Images via Reuters/Livepic 11:57

Ireland 10 Wales 16 The cascading rain that enveloped the Aviva stadium for the final 10 minutes of the contest provided a suitably leaden hued backdr(...)

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(...)

Tadhg Furlong and Cian Healy taking part in Ireland’s squad session at Carton House. Furlong is expected to make his debut off the bench while Healy is nearing  full fitness. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 7:17

While tomorrow’s Irish line-up looks more familiar, opportunity again knocks for a chosen few against an equally more familiar and potent Wales. And (...)

Ian Madigan launches a pinpoint crossfield kick for Luke Fitzgerald to score a try in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Same questions, different day. Ian Madigan continues to suffer under the yoke of perceived versatility as he has done ever since former Leinster coach(...)

Ireland’s Tommy O’Donnell had his World Cup dreams shattered against Wales. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The roof closed out the sunshine and in addition a cloud hung over Ireland’s otherwise encouraging start to their World Cup preparations in Saturda(...)

Ireland’s Felix Jones scores a try against Wales in the World Cup warm-up match at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

For Felix Jones, the sight of Tommy O’Donnell laid out and being treated for four minutes, before being stretchered off as he clutched Dr Eanna Falvey(...)