Ireland’s Niamh Briggs tackled by Ceri Large and Abigail Brown of England during last year’s Six Nations clash in Ashbourne. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Different cast members from two years ago, but Ireland’s problem last time around, on this wide open space, in this cavernous stadium, was exit routes(...)

Irish international Paula Fitzpatrick: hoping for Irish Women’s team’s first victory in France. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Paula Fitzpatrick will note some familiar faces in the blue of France when she lines up for the anthems ahead of the Women’s Six Nations Championship(...)

Ireland’s Sene Naoupu scores a try despite Adi Taviner of Wales Photograph: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Ireland 21 Wales 3 All told, a serious statement of intent from the defending champions. And a diamond discovered in the process. It was 2011 when (...)

Niamh Briggs will captain Ireland as they look to retain the Six Nations Championship. Photograph: Inpho

Tom Tierney has announced his squad for the Six Nations as Ireland’s women look to retain the championship they won in 2015. Ireland’s title defence (...)

Tom Tierney talking to the Irish backs during the captain’s run recently. The Grand Slam may have slipped out of reach but a second Six Nations in three years is within touching distance. Photograph: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Let’s briefly revisit the French visit to Ashbourne in February. Not to highlight the floodlight failure again but to reveal its positive impact.Unbek(...)

Ireland flanker Paula Fitzpatrick has been in outstanding form in the Six Nations campaign. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Last game in Ashbourne it seems. The IRFU, indicating that their senior women have outgrown this always welcoming rugby ground (every other Six Nat(...)

 Ireland’s Katie Fitzhenry on the attack against Italy. The Blackrock back will start at inside centre against France. Photograph: Ivan Marianelli / Inpho

Ireland v France (Ashbourne RFC, Meath, Friday, 7.30pm)The Ireland women’s team to face France shows one change with Blackrock’s Katie Fitzhenry repla(...)

 Ireland’s Paula Fitzpatrick on the attackin Florence.  Photograph: Ivan Marianelli / Inpho

Italy 5 Ireland 30Brand new coaching ticket and utter change to their core leadership but business as usual for Ireland. They backed up last August’s (...)

Jeamie Deacon in action for Blackrock.

She’s had her fair share of memorable moments during her sporting career to date, being flown by private jet to play in a hockey quarter-final for Mic(...)

 Elodie Guiglion of France dives to score against Ireland  in the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 3rd/4th Place Playoff at Stade Jean-Bouin  in Paris. Photograph:  Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

France 25 Ireland 18So, Fiona Coghlan’s Ireland finish fourth at the World Cup and, like other Irish heroines before them, fall agonisingly short of t(...)