Ulster centre Darren Cave has said the pursuit of a place at the Rugby World Cup took over his life. Photograph: Inpho

A place on the bench in Twickenham can bring its own strains. But at least Darren Cave is there. He’s on the plane. He’s in the squad. He’s got his ti(...)

Coach Joe Schmidt will confirm team selection at lunchtime on Thursday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt is expected to send over a strong Irish side for Saturday’s last of four warm-up games before the World Cup, against the hosts, England(...)

Ireland secondrow Devin Toner will hope to fend off the challenge of Iain Henderson and Donnacha Ryan and partner Paul O’Connell in the scrum. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Waiting by the phone for a phone call from the boss is no one’s idea of a pleasant Sunday, and that was certainly true of the Irish players vying for (...)

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(...)

Paul O’Connell speaks to the team before the Wales game. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Rob Kearney 7 And he’s only getting started. Didn’t really attack the Welsh like he would in a full metal jacket affair but was his usual dominant sel(...)

Ireland fullback Rob Kearney rises high to claim the ball ahead of Wales outhalf Dan Biggar at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Fittingly the heavens opened for the last quarter, which suited the team in front, which was deservedly Wales. And so it was that the Red Dragonhood r(...)

Iain Henderson in action against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. “We gave Wales three silly penalties, three shots at goal and they took them.” Photograph: Reuters

The numbers confirm the visual aesthetics of Iain Henderson’s high-calibre performance at the Aviva Stadium. Henderson made more tackles (12) than an(...)

Ireland’s Iain Henderson is tackled by Wales’ Gethin Jenkins and captain Alun Wyn Jones during the World Cup Warm Up Match at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

Iain Henderson was moving house this weekend — 24 hours after effectively making himself an immovable World Cup option for Ireland head coach Joe Schm(...)

Ireland flanker Jordi Murphy had a tough day against the outstanding Justin Tipuric of Wales during the World Cup warm-up at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Iain Henderson or Devin Toner? It’s not really a tough call anymore. The second best forward in Ireland these past six months, this 23-year-old Craiga(...)

Ireland’s Iain Henderson in action in the World Cup warm-up match against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:   Cathal McNaughton/Action Images via Reuters/Livepic 11:57

Ireland 10 Wales 16 The cascading rain that enveloped the Aviva stadium for the final 10 minutes of the contest provided a suitably leaden hued backdr(...)