Joe Schmidt says the experience of Less Kiss will be invaluable when selecting Ireland’s squad for this year’s World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

In the aftermath of the disappointing Irish performance and defeat to the Barbarians in Thomond Park on Thursday night, Joe Schmidt gave little pointe(...)

Barbarians’ Wynand Oliver and Gerhard Vosloo tackle Ireland’s Colm O’Shea during the friendly match at Thomond Park.

Joe Schmidt admitted any prospective citing against Jack McGrath for his 32nd minute knee into the back of the Barbarians’ Georgian lock Konstantin Mi(...)

Barbarians’ Zane Kirchner touches down to score a try in the game against an Ireland XVat Thomond park. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Barbarians 22 Ireland 21 The individual consequences will be more significant after Ireland slipped to a defeat at Thomond Park that will merely be a(...)

Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey could turn out to be a bolter for Ireland’s World Cup squad. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/Inpho

For the third year in succession an Emerging Ireland squad will head for Eastern Europe in early summer to compete in a tournament that at face value (...)

Craig Gilroy dives over for Ulsters second score in their 26-10 win over Leinster at Ravenhill. Photograph: Inpho

Ulster 26 Leinster 10Ulster set up a third Irish derby in a row at home to Munster two weeks’ hence, in a match that could decide home advantage in th(...)

Ian Madigan has been dropped for Leinster’s must win Pro 12 game against Ulster at Ravenhill. Photograph: Inpho

In what could be seen as a boost to Gordon D’Arcy’s hopes of making Ireland’s World Cup squad,  Leinster coach Matt O’Connor has taken the dec(...)

Tommy Bowe is happy to be back with Ulster after a spell with the Ospreys. Photograph: Inpho

The era of stitching gold stars into provincial jerseys has been replaced by Six Nations titles. While Joe Schmidt’s team is thriving, the task of wi(...)

Toulon flanker Steffon Armitage  collides with Cian Healy during the European Champions Cup  semi final  in Marseille. Photograph: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images

Wales, then Toulon. Seán O’Brien and defeat sit uncomfortably in the same room. His frustrations were audible on Wayne Barnes’s microphone in Cardiff(...)

Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor speaking to the press ahead of his side’s Pro12 clash with Ulster in Ravenhill. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Matt O’Connor believes the Ireland player management scheme has contributed to Leinster’s perilous position in the Pro 12.Lose to Ulster on Friday and(...)

Toulon’s Bryan Habana scores the extra-time try. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Toulon 25 Leinster 20 (aet; 12-12 after 80 minutes) True to their word, Leinster fought the good fight. For 80 minutes of regulation time and a(...)