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(...)

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(...)

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(...)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt faces a number of difficult decisions when it comes to selecting his squad for the World Cup. 2:54

Some celebrated outside backs are likely to miss out on the Ireland 31-man squad when it is submitted to the World Cup organisers by 5pm on Monday. No(...)

Jordi Murphy would relish the chance to bury some of his boyhood backrow heroes at the Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

It’s more a challenge than a dilemma for Jordi Murphy to face the players he once looked up to when he was a teenager. More immediately to fight his w(...)

New Leinster coach Leo Cullen at a press conference in UCD. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Undoubtedly fast-tracked, Leo Cullen as head coach doesn’t come as a surprise to those who have known him longest. His formal appointment by Leinster (...)

Ireland’s Chris Henry:   “Watch his early adoption of suitable body position as he puts himself into the ideal entry point over the ball.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 2:30

Kilkenny’s extraordinary methodology makes hurling a super team sport; so too Joe Schmidt’s rugby but for me it’s off shore sailing epitomised by t(...)

Ireland’s Tommy O’Donnell had his World Cup dreams shattered against Wales. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The roof closed out the sunshine and in addition a cloud hung over Ireland’s otherwise encouraging start to their World Cup preparations in Saturda(...)

Ireland’s Felix Jones scores a try against Wales in the World Cup warm-up match at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

For Felix Jones, the sight of Tommy O’Donnell laid out and being treated for four minutes, before being stretchered off as he clutched Dr Eanna Falvey(...)