Paddy Jackson: “I just have to focus on playing 10, getting my roles right and trying manage the team around me.”

In a rugby world of utility players Paddy Jackson is content to stand proud as a specialist. Ask a number eight where he plays and it’s everywhere in (...)

 James Hook, Mike Phillips and Richard Hibbard are among eight players released from Wales’ World Cup training squad, the Welsh Rugby Union has announced. Photograph: David Davies/PA

High-profile trio James Hook, Mike Phillips and Richard Hibbard have been cut from Wales’ World Cup training squad. The Welsh Rugby Union announced th(...)

Jamie Heaslip of Ireland charges upfield during the International match between Wales and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

So Pool D runners-up will be playing New Zealand on 17th October. Ahhh. But Pool D winners will have the reward of Argentina a day later. Neither Irel(...)

Keith Earls breaks with the ball to score an Ireland try during the international match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The slickness of this performance was testimony to the coaching skills of Joe Schmidt and his staff, and the trademark(...)

Simon Zebo is congratulated by three other Ireland try scorers, Jamie Heaslip, Felix Jones and Keith Earls after his score against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: PA

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The final scoreline, if anything, flattered Wales. Ireland were way more cohesive than a Welsh team cobbled together from World Cu(...)

Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip in relaxed mood with head coach Joe Schmidt during the captain’s run at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

As Jamie Heaslip noted, time was when players re-introduced themselves to the game with a modest pre-season friendly for their provinces, maybe a leag(...)

Wales coach Warren Gatland  and captain Scott Williams: Gatland discussed selection policy for Saturday’s game with Joe Schmidt. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

While the Irish squad have been mixing four-day camps at their Carton House base with camps in Galway and Cork, as well as time with their province(...)

Wales coaches Robert Howley and head coach Warren Gatland - Wales have announced their XV for the game against Ireland. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Wales head coach Warren Gatland says he is looking for the perfect blend of experience and youth ahead of the upcoming World Cup, and he’s blooding(...)

Warren Gatland has named nine uncapped players in his 47-man training squad for the Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Getty

The Wales head coach Warren Gatland has turned to the Premiership as he starts preparing in earnest for the World Cup. His training squad of 47 for th(...)

Connacht’s Robbie Henshaw is tackled by Gloucester’s James Hook during their European Rugby Challenge Cup match at Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester, England. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Gloucester 14 Connacht 7 Connacht paid the price for a poor first half when the English favourites Gloucester sealed the first semi-final berth(...)