Ian Madigan and Sean Cronin are set to return for Leinster in the Pro12. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster will review the fitness of the returning players from Ireland duty but would expect to be able to pick the majority, if not all, of those pla(...)

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell and Seán O’Brien react to a decision by referee Wayne Barnes during the Six Nations defeat to Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt has outstanding issues with the officiating of Wayne Barnes. Schmidt still believes the English referee’s interpretation, and that (...)

Luke Fitzgerald starts for Ireland against Scotland - his first international start since 2011. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 3:12

Almost the greatest rugby player Ireland never really had, Luke Fitzgerald replaces Simon Zebo in the team to face Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday(...)

Ireland’s Cian Healy is tackled by Aaron Jarvis of Wales at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Greg Feek has been stressing that Cian Healy has been “chomping at the bit”. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Irish forwards coach Simon Easterby yesterday dropped the broadest of hints that the Irish starting XV and replacements for the Six Nations’ finale a(...)

Sex appeal: Ireland outhalf Johnny Sexton leads a team talk in the huddle during last week’s crunch game against Wales. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Maybe, just maybe, there is indeed a silver lining of some kind to last Saturday’s defeat. Another leading-from-the-front victory, thereby ensuring(...)

Wales’ Sam Warburton is tackled by Ireland’s Jack McGrath at the Millennium Stadium. Warburton was simply immense in both defence and at the breakdown. Photograph: Crispin Rodbwell/Inpho 6:29

According to Winston Churchill to improve is to change but to be perfect is to change often. With six and a half minutes left Ireland were four point(...)

Rob Kearney: A few early errors but grew into the game with some traditional high fielding and a willingness to carry ball repeatedly: some success in breaking first line of defence on cut-backs and was his side’s most effective ball carrier with 104 metres. Rating 6

15 Rob KearneyA few early errors but grew into the game with some traditional high fielding and a willingness to carry ball repeatedly: some success i(...)

Jamie Heaslip returns from injury to take his place at number eight for the Six Nations match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph:   James Crombie/Inpho

IRELAND 15 Rob Kearney Age: 28 Height: 1.85m (6’1”) Weight: 95kg (15st) Caps: 60 Tries: 10 (1 conversion) Having worked with the Welsh coaching st(...)

Jamie Roberts: is a different player in the Wales jersey – despite his less than spectacular sojourn wit Racing Metro. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Wales don’t scare us like France and England can. Still, we have to respect what they have achieved under Warren Gatland. Three Six Nations titles, in(...)

Rob Kearney: A couple of loose kicks aside he was the personification of calm collection under the high ball and that infuses confidence in those around you. Rating: 7

15 Rob KearneyA couple of loose kicks aside he was the personification of calm collection under the high ball and that infuses confidence in those aro(...)