Jared Payne will not play for Ulster until at least December. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The timeline of Jared Payne’s “bruised foot” becoming “structural damage” that required surgery leaves Ulster without their prized possession at least(...)

Ireland’s Keith Earls: “I’m happy at the moment. Hopefully there is more to come. Without any injuries it is great to be able to build on it each week. That’s the plan.”

With an appeal of Seán O’Brien’s one-week suspension unlikely, the flanker is almost certainly out of Sunday’s World Cup quarter-final against Argent(...)

Jared Payne is an injury doubt for the upcoming Italy game. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Jared Payne’s “bruised foot” kept him out of training today at Surrey Sports Park, making the 29-year-old Kiwi and Rob Kearney the only known doubts a(...)

Cian Healy made his return to the Ireland team against Canada in Cardiff. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

“He’s a freak, man.” Jamie Heaslip is describing his roommate, his best mate, the man who he strives alongside for greatness, the prop Ireland must ha(...)

England loosehead prop Joe Marler is forced out of the scrum during the World Cup warm-up game against Ireland at Twickenham. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

It’s probably fair to suggest that both Ireland’s Joe Schmidt and his England counterpart Stuart Lancaster will be disappointed when they review the f(...)

Paul O’Connell  in Twickenham: “For me when you play England, you always think of the size of the players.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

This almost feels a little like the start of the World Cup. It’s Twickenham, all the squads have been named and England kick off the global, four-year(...)

Tighthead Mike Ross (left) believes 22-year-old Tadhg Furlong has the talent to be Ireland’s versatile prop. Photograph: Inpho

Remember Twickenham on St Patrick’s Day 2012 and Tom Court’s traumatic experience at the hands of Dan Cole? Same stadium, same English tighthead, Mike(...)

Ireland’s Devin Toner during the captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Six tries against Ireland in the two games against Wales and Scotland and despite winning, it sometimes feels as if looking at the negative side of(...)

Prop Michael Bent: “Some times were tougher than others but I always stayed positive and kept pushing hard to get back.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Michael Bent bridged a gap that’s a few months shy of three years when he came on as a replacement in Ireland’s victory over Wales last Saturday in Ca(...)

Cian Healy training at Carton House on Thursday. The Ireland loosehead  will be given until the opening World Cup game against Canada to prove his fitness. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Cian Healy will not be required to play in any of Ireland’s four warm-up matches to make Joe Schmidt’s 31-man World Cup squad. Schmidt is comfortable (...)