Kieran Marmion dives over the line to score a try for Connacht against Leinster last Friday. Photoraph: James Crombie/Inpho.

In front of the watching Joe Schmidt, Friday night’s head-to-head subplots in the Sportsground would have focussed mostly around midfield, and the you(...)

 Connacht’s Kieran Marmion scores the decisive  try at the Sportsground. Photograph: James Crombie / Inpho

Connacht 10 Leinster 9 “We are top of the league,” chanted the delirious home support in the Clan Terrace. To the delight of the vast majority of the (...)

 Denis O’Brien: ‘The craic (in soccer) is just great. The people you meet. The slagging is lightning. The same kind of fun as rugby but different.’ Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Wouldn’t we all do it, if we could? Is there a sports fan alive who heard that Denis O’Brien is chipping in to bring Johnny Sexton back from France(...)

Desperate Housewives actress and angel investor Eva Longoria, who has been confirmed as a speaker at this year’s Web Summit. Photo: Bloomberg

Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria, supermodel Lily Cole and Oscar winning visual effects specialist Tim Webber have been confirmed as speak(...)

Leinster’s Zane Kirchner is out for two or three weeks with a hamstring injury.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne / Inpho

Leinster will decide later in the week whether Seán O’Brien will face Connacht at the Sportsground on Friday.The backrow took a knock to his ankle ahe(...)

Irish outhalf Jonathan Sexton in action for Racing Metro 92. It is also believed Toulon and Racing Metro 92 were offering in the region of €900,000 to keep Sexton in France. Photograph: Getty Images

Jonathan Sexton’s commercial agreement with Denis O’Brien, which played a significant role in bringing the Ireland outhalf back to Leinster next seas(...)

Leinster’s Rob Kearney enjoyed a stunning seasonal debut with two tries in the hammering of the Scarlets in Saturday’s Guinness Pro12 clash at the RDS. Photograph:   Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leinster 42 Scarlets 12Leinster rediscovered some of their old mojo in the first home game of the season at the RDS as they ran in six tries against a(...)

Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip celebrates with the Pro 12 trophy after victory against Glasgow in the  Pro 12 final. Heaslip returns today for his first game of the new season. Photograph:   Patrick Bolger/Getty Images

Jamie Heaslip makes his return for Leinster this weekend, when he will captain the side for the first home game of the season in his first Pro12 mat(...)

Seán O’Brien (left) and  Ian Madigan (cap) sat out Leinster training. Photograph: Ryan Byrne / Inpho

Seán O’Brien and Ian Madigan sat out Leinster training last night but both are expected to be fit to face Scarlets at the RDS on Saturday (2.40pm).Le(...)

Rob Kearney of Leinster and Andrew Trimble of Ulster contest a high ball during last season’s Pro12 semi-final at the RDS. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Maybe, just maybe, the Celtic League/Magners League/Rabo Pro12/ Guinness Pro12 has come of age. As its various incarnations ably testify, the league h(...)