Vern Cotter’s Scotland side travel to Cardiff to play Wales on Saturday. Photograph: PA

Vern Cotter was in a prickly mood when he announced Scotland’s team to face Wales in Cardiff. The optimism that had built up north of the border a we(...)

Dan Biggar (centre) talks to Jamie Heaslip and   Jonathan Davies after last Sunday’s Six Nations game in Dublin. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Outhalf Dan Biggar will feature in an unchanged Wales team for Saturday’s Six Nations clash against Scotland at the retitled Principality Stadium in C(...)

Johnny Sexton in action against Wales in their Six Nations opener. “On seeing his demeanour on the field last Sunday it looked to me like he was enjoying his rugby again.” Photograph: Getty Images

The well-worn line about doing the jersey justice resonates in the wake of Paul O’Connell’s retirement from rugby. But a genuine tribute to Paulie’s l(...)

Simon Zebo tries to break free from Welsh tacklers at Aviva Stadium. “Scotland wax lyrical at their man Stuart Hogg but Zebo has better lines and given more opportunity can cut any defence apart.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

So we were all wrong; the toughest 20 days of Joe Schmidt’s journey began yesterday with a draw to Wales; it could have been better but it could have (...)

Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton kicks a penalty against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Johnny Sexton, so clearly in agony, only took leave of this Test match after ensuring Ireland regained parity at 16-16. Clearly the success and failu(...)

Tommy O’Donnell is led off for a Head Injury Assessment he later passed during Ireland’s 16-16 Six Nations draw with Wales. Photograph: Inpho

A draw leaves room for everything, most of it equivocation. You can jostle for position, call it a good draw or a bad draw but in the end, it amounts (...)

Jonathan Sexton carries a heavy burden for Ireland. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

There was a sharp intake of breath on RTÉ’s morning sports bulletin when it became apparent that Shane Horgan was about to commit an unofficial act of(...)

Connacht’s Nathan White in a ruck during Ireland squad training at Carton House on Friday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

As pivotal openers go, this looks fairly pivotal alright. If Ireland lose, they will be looking down the barrel of successive visits to Paris, in just(...)

Stuart McCloskey could form a physically imposing midfield partnership with Robbie Henshaw in Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Wales. Photograph: Inpho

Wales’ Jonathan Davies will be “the midget of the midfield” if Ireland pair Stuart McCloskey and Robbie Henshaw at centre for Sunday’s Six Nations ope(...)

CJ Stander and Stuart McCloskey on their way  to an Ireland training session  at Carton House  on Wednesday. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ireland’s rookie centre Stuart McCloskey can cope with Wales’ ‘Warrenball’ tactics if handed his Test debut in Sunday’s Six Nations opener against Wal(...)