Rob Kearney: “We’re in the process of putting together a sort of mentoring programme. You have to be very careful how you do it because it’s very important that we’re not creating a hierarchy in the organisation”. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Rob Kearney is accumulating a portfolio of responsibilities that includes a new role as chairman of Irupa and another as one of two trusted lieutenant(...)

Jonathan Sexton reacts during Racing Metro’s French Top 14 match against Union Bordeaux-Begles (UBB)at Chaban Delmas Stadium in Bordeaux at the weekend. Photograph: Nicolas Tucat/AFP/Getty Images

Additional financial support, most probably from Leinster and sponsors, helped bridge some if not all of the sizeable gap between the lucrative fou(...)

Jamie Heaslip (right) celebrating Leinster’s win over Glasgow Warriors in the final of RaboDirect PRO12 at the RDS in May. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Confirmation that Jamie Heaslip will be the ‘new’ Leinster captain for the forthcoming season in succession to the long-standing Leo Cullen, who has m(...)

 Jamie Heaslip  is the new Leinster captain. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Leinster coach Matt O’Connor has given the captaincy of the province to Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip for the new season. Heaslip succeeds Leo Cu(...)

It’s striking how few Dubliners are around the city on a Sunday morning. It’s a population of gulls, tourists in smart rainwear and the occasional (...)

Rob Kearney in action in Saturday’s second Test against Argentina: “We turned over a lot of ball, our rucking was poor.”  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Disappointment with a laboured performance which struggled painfully to turn possession, territory, set- piece dominance and line breaks into points(...)

Of all the the emerging young players on the tour of Argentina, the one  who made the biggest impression on Joe Schmidt was flanker  Rhys Ruddock. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

It was a small, relatively throwaway remark but it was worth noting nonetheless. “This was my first tour,” Joe Schmidt reminded us, and you forget, fo(...)

Jamie Heaslip: Enjoying a down day on the summer tour to Argentina. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Forget Bod and Paulie and Rog. Forget Johnny Sex and Cian – I can draw as well – Healy. Forget about Schmidt. As for Hooky – if only: no the most i(...)

Ireland’s Paul O’Connell is made  stretch to the limit as he wins this lineout in Saturday’s second Test at the Estadio JosŽ Fierro in Tucumán. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Any season that contains a Six Nations title has to be considered a good one, and the first campaign under Joe Schmidt was duly rounded off with a fir(...)

Simon Zebo breaks clear of the Argentina defence to score Ireland’s first try during the second Test in Tucumán, Argentina. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Argentina 17 Ireland 23: Ireland huffed and puffed in the clammy Tucumán air of north eastern Argentina to eventually complete a slightly laboured (...)