Gordon D’Arcy and Aoife Cogan at the Ireland Funds Annual Fundraiser in the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin, where the former Irish Rugby International was honoured. Photograph: Collins

For the first time in 16 seasons Gordon D’Arcy will not be involved in the Six Nations rugby championship this weekend. Instead, he was honoured yest(...)

England’s frontrow Dan Cole, Dylan Hartley and Alex Corbisiero celebrate a scrum penalty awarded against Ireland in the 2012 St Patrick’s Day massacre

St Patrick’s Day 2012. Mike Ross departs, broken, by half-time. Six minutes later Philip Matthews, a durable blindside and Ireland captain through so(...)

Can Ireland win a third Six Nations in a row? Photograph: Getty Images

GERRY THORNLEY How will Ireland fare? A tall order without either of the twin totems for the first time since 1999, made taller still by having Wal(...)

Aoife Coogan and Gordon D’Arcy, who did a stint as an intern at Investec last year alongside the day job at Leinster. Photograph: Dermot Byrne Photography

In the current climate, there’s a lot of appeal for banks and wealth managers to be seen as a safe pair of hands. Good news then for Investec, which h(...)

Ireland internationals Ian Madigan and Simon Zebo could be lining up options to play abroad next season. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Reflection, anew. Maybe it’s not as bad as it seems. Maybe the injuries in the four provincial squads just need time to heal. Maybe the suggestion t(...)

New Zealander Maa Nonu in action for Toulon against Agen at the weekend: what Toulon are doing, while amazing to watch, is concocted in Mourad Boudjellal’s office. Photograph: Bertrand langlois/AFP

With the big picture barely sketched by Leo Cullen and Girvan Dempsey, a trip to Toulon is hardly the time for experimentation. This calls for an accu(...)

Sam Burgess arrives at Sydney Airport after ending his rugby union career with Bath and England. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Sam Burgess arrived at Bath in late 2014 as the best rugby league player in the world, having just inspired the South Sydney Rabbitohs to their first (...)

Leinster’s Jonathan Sexton appeals to the referee during the European Champions Cup defeat to Wasps at the RDS. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

Leinster 6 Wasps 33 Slow, painful season coming. Not even in Leo Cullen’s worst nightmare could he have foreseen this record home European defe(...)

Timely: this autumn’s supermoons and all the talk of life on Mars give a topical edge to I Was There’s distillation of evolution. Illustration: Michael Viney

How do you inspire an eight-year-old, say, with young delight in sharing with everything else on Earth, atoms born of the Big Bang, 14 billion years a(...)

Sam Burgess: returning to South Sydney Rabbitohs on lucrative contract. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Was Sam Burgess chased out of rugby union? And will there ever be a lonelier World Cup career in English rugby union lore? Maybe the blurry memory (...)