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(...)

Orange Order marchers are reflected in a puddle during  parade  in Belfast on Monday marking the Twelfth of July celebrations which  commemorate the victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images.

The Twelfth of July parades are an unrivalled show of community solidarity, the grand master of the Orange Order Edward Stevenson has told Orangemen a(...)

Police and the loyal orders have said they hope the annual Twelfth of July celebrations pass off peacefully on Monday. Thousands are expected to take part in more than 800 parades with many more expected to watch the spectacle. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images.

A contentious Orange Order feeder parade past the Ardoyne shops in north Belfast took place peacefully this morning. There was a heavy police presence(...)

The late Ian Paisley with former taoiseach Bertie Ahern and the carbine musket (circa 1685) that Dr Paisley presented to him. Photograph: David Sleator

A gun famously presented to Bertie Ahern by the Rev Ian Paisley during a ceremony on the site of the Battle of the Boyne was a loan and not a gift, (...)

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(...)

 Paddy Butler scores Munster’s  third try in the Guinness Pro 12 play-off at  Thomond Park. Photo:   Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Munster 21 Ospreys 18 Wild celebrations yes, but relief wasn’t the half of it as Munster nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory before then s(...)

Peter O’Mahony returns to the Munster side for their Pro 12 play-off semi-final against the Ospreys. Photogrpah: Inpho

Captain Peter O’Mahony and Simon Zebo both return to the Munster side for their Pro 12 semi final against Ospreys at Thomond Park on Saturday. O’Mahon(...)

23-year-old Gareth Anscombe, who is from New Zealand but has a Swansea-born mother, has been named in Wales’ Six Nations squad. (Photograph: INPHO/Simon King)

Gareth Anscombe, the 23-year old New Zealander with a Swansea-born mother, has been named in the Wales squad less than three months after leaving the (...)