Connacht head coach Pat Lam: “You want a full complement to select from, but the thing that I’m pleased with is the way that we have trained as a squad.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Pat Lam yesterday insisted it is just another game, with another four points on the line. But in travelling to Thomond Park on Saturday atop the Guin(...)

John Muldoon: “I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t love to win in Munster before I retire, it’s one of the places where I have never won at senior level.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

John Muldoon made his senior debut for Connacht in 2002 at Thomond Park in an end-of-season friendly, in what would be a rare enough outing at opensi(...)

 Ian Madigan, Hayden Triggs and Isaac Boss have some fun at Leinster squad training. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

This will tell us much about Leinster. They’ve backed themselves into quite a corner and both the circumstances of a brutally tough pool along with(...)

“It hits home a bit more when you have lived there for a few years,” said Jonathan Sexton on the Paris terror attacks. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

As bulk suppliers toward Ireland’s World Cup campaign, with 18 players having been part of that intense four-month programme of pre-season, warm-up (...)

Toulon’s Mathieu Bastareaud and Guilhem Guirado tackle Rob Kearney of Leinster in last year’s European Rugby Champions Cup semi-final. Toulon are second favourites to win their fourth Cup in a row. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

For better or for worse, the European Champions Cup is upon us again. The hangover in European rugby still lingers after the World Cup amid general ru(...)

Outhalf Dan Carter, who missed the last final in 2011 through injury, training with Beauden Barrett. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

The All Blacks starting team for tomorrow’s World Cup final picked itself. That tells us as much about their state of health, the planning of Steve Ha(...)

A TMO interlude is announced during the Ireland v Canada clash at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.  Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters/Livepic

The England 2015 organisers couldn’t have scripted a better first weekend if they tried. An entertaining enough opening night win for the hosts, fu(...)

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’s Keith Earls tackles George North resulting in him being taken off injured during the World Cup warm-up match against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

All the indications in the aftermath of Saturday’s anti-climactic end to Paul O’Connell’s magnificent Test career on home soil, along with Ireland’(...)

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(...)