Ireland’s Michael Bent is tackled by Scotland’s Grant Gilchrist during the World Cup warm-up match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photo Niall Carson/PA

The Ireland management will be keeping a close eye on the performances of Michael Bent and Gordon D’Arcy in tonight’s pre-season friendly against Mose(...)

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

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 (...)

Keith Earls breaks with the ball to score an Ireland try during the international match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The slickness of this performance was testimony to the coaching skills of Joe Schmidt and his staff, and the trademark(...)

Simon Zebo is congratulated by three other Ireland try scorers, Jamie Heaslip, Felix Jones and Keith Earls after his score against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: PA

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The final scoreline, if anything, flattered Wales. Ireland were way more cohesive than a Welsh team cobbled together from World Cu(...)

Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip in relaxed mood with head coach Joe Schmidt during the captain’s run at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

As Jamie Heaslip noted, time was when players re-introduced themselves to the game with a modest pre-season friendly for their provinces, maybe a leag(...)

Joe Schmidt with Simon Zebo: ‘Has Zebo  finally learned that Schmidt requires a different feedback in order to get into his starting teams? If he has, then climb on board.’ Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Over the summer I’ve been preoccupied with the OODA Loop. Maybe it’s the various challenges business continually presents that’s encouraged me to O(...)

Training routine: Ireland Rugby Squad gets down to business at  Carton House, Kildare. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 5:04

Opportunity knocks for a slew of Irish World Cup fringe contenders on Saturday in the first of the four warm-up games against Wales in Cardiff. While(...)

Simon Zebo: “I feel really fresh now, excited and hopefully my best rugby will come out.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Excluding the natural skills of Simon Zebo from Ireland’s World Cup squad would shock. Not unlike Declan Kidney cutting Luke Fitzgerald in 2011, wh(...)

Ian Keatley has been left out of Ireland’s 45-man training squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has named his 45-man training squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup. Notable absentees from Schmidt’s squad include Ian Kea(...)

 Isa Nacewa: “Leinster was the one club I wanted to play for and when the opportunity arose I just jumped at it.” Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty

Isa Nacewa turned down an unofficial approach to resume his playing career during his time with the Auckland Blues but when Leinster made inquiries ea(...)