Rory McIlroy with Luke Fitzgerald, Dave Kearney, Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

A four-strong Irish delegation were today winging their way to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen. The World Cup reception will be attended by repres(...)

Ireland’s Rob Kearney goes over for a try during his side’s 24-9 win over France in the pool stages of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo: Loic Vanance/Getty Images 5:08

When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and rarely has it got tougher than it did in the punishing hospital ward which the Millennium Stadi(...)

Ireland’s Sean O’Brien gave a wonderfully bullish performance against France. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leaders fall and others instantly rise up. Three, possibly four men lost, the Millennium became Seán O’Brien’s field, while Rory Best was only phenome(...)

Ireland’s hooker Rory Best braces himself as two French players move in for the tackle. Photograph: Damien Meyer/AFP Photo/Getty Images 1:47

Sometimes the mistakes don’t matter because those imperfections are superseded by the integrity of application and unflinching belief. It takes cou(...)

Ireland rugby squad training in Newport, Wales. Coach Joe Schmidt believes game against France will be decided on tiniest of margins. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

This is it then. The World Cup has finally arrived for Ireland and France. From now on, things become altogether more serious. For the winners, a seve(...)

Jared Payne will not  face France on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 5:54

The French would have been mid-session this afternoon when word filtered through that Keith Earls will be wearing number 13 for Ireland on Sunday at t(...)

The IRFU pays each Ireland player a basic fee for making the Rugby World Cup 2015 squad (between €30,000 and €40,000). Photograph: Fotolia

Should New Zealand retain the Rugby World Cup each player would be due a NZD$150,000 (€87,000) bonus. Many unions competing in the World Cup carry (...)

Clean Break: Aidan McArdle, Kelly Thornton and Adam Fergus

It’s not quite as rare as that orange moon, but a new Irish-made drama on RTÉ is a long-awaited sight. In Clean Break (RTÉ One, Sunday), a new crime s(...)

Robbie Henshaw is in line to make his World Cup debut in the Pool D game against Italy on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 7:17

Akin to other head coaches who have a clear selection strategy in this World Cup, although not all, Joe Schmidt is expected to largely revert to th(...)

England captain Chris Robshaw and head coach Stuart Lancaster face the media after their defeat to Wales at Twickenham. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Ten days into the tournament and one could do a PhD on decision-making and psychology. Think of Japan beating South Africa or the Welsh medical sta(...)