Australian referee Angus Gardner will take charge of Ireland’s Six Nations match at home to Italy on March 12th. Photograph: Jason Oxenham/Getty Images

Former Munster player John Lacey and George Clancy are Ireland’s sole referee representatives in the 2016 Six Nations Championship, which gets underwa(...)

Welsh  referee Nigel Owens, seen here officiating the Rugby World Cup quarter-final game between New Zealand and France, will take charge of Saturday’s final between the All Blacks and Australia. Photograph:  Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

Welshman Nigel Owens has been appointed to referee next Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final between New Zealand and Australia at Twickenham, while Irelan(...)

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(...)

Iain Henderson, supported by Luke Fitzgerald, run at the Canadian defence during the  Rugby World Cup Group D encounter at the Milennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt caught everyone at unawares with this team selection for Canada. Despite, seemingly, bringing inside centre cover to the World Cup in the (...)

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(...)

Welsh referee Nigel Owens will take charge of Ireland’s key World Cup pool game against France in Cardiff. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland’s potentially pivotal Rugby World Cup pool match against France at the Millennium Stadium on Sunday, October 11th, will be refereed by everyon(...)

George Clancy: part of a 12-member panel that will referee at Rugby World Cup 2015. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ireland’s George Clancy and John Lacey have been chosen as part of a 12-member panel that will referee at Rugby World Cup 2015. World Rugby also co(...)

Scotland’s Finn Russell has had his appeal against a two-week ban turned down after he took out opposite number Dan Biggar in the air. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Finn Russell will miss Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations clash with Italy after his appeal against a two-week ban was thrown out by tournament bosses.A Six Nat(...)