Cian Kelleher of Lansdowne (right). He and Clontarf’s Collie O’Shae are named on the squad to take on Barbarians on Thursday. Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer

The overlap in the rugby lives of Cian Kelleher and Collie O’Shea represent a curious collision of circumstances over the past several weeks. The two (...)

Connacht’s Eoghan Masterson is shown a yellow card and sinbinned by referee Romain Poite during the European Champions Cup play-off at Kingsholm Stadium. Photograph: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

As one Connacht player put it, when you’re at the bottom of the food chain you get dry bread. It’s often said in team sports that the perceived ‘bigge(...)

Ulster have made 11 changes for the Pro12 semi-final. Photo: Russell Pritchard/Inpho

Ulster have welcomed back 11 players who did not feature in last weekend’s defeat against Glasgow, for their Pro12 semi-final against the same opposit(...)

Ian Humphreys will start at outhalf for Ulster in their game away to Glasgow. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Inpho/Presseye

The draw with Munster in Belfast appears to have made up Neil Doak’s mind. Sure, that sharp cut-out pass by Paddy Jackson and touchline conversion (...)

Ulster’s Stuart McCloskey scores a try against Benetton Treviso during the Pro12 game at Kingspan Stadium in February. Photograph: Darren kidd/Inpho.

Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken has a resonance for many sports people. It is commonplace among the athletic fraternity to face a choice as a t(...)

Ulster’s Iain Henderson challenges for a loose ball with Munster’s Keith Earls at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ulster 23 Munster 23 The only set of results which could contrive to leave the two Irish contenders third and fourth, and thereby potentially m(...)

Paddy Jackson is congratulated by his Ulster team mates after his conversion gave the hosts a 23-23 draw with Munster at Ravenhill. Photograph: Inpho

Ulster 23 Munster 23 Regrets, they’ll both have a few - Munster at letting a seven-point lead slip away after the 80 minute mark, and Ulster at(...)

Roger Wilson will make his 132nd league appearance against Munster, a record for any Ulster player. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/Inpho

The stage could hardly be set any better. The two in-form Irish contenders for the title meet at an 18,000-capacity Kingspan Stadium with the prize a(...)

“I’ve always been able to be calm on the pitch,” says Ulster outhalf Paddy Jackson. “I’ve learned over the years because I came in at a young age and I’ve had a lot of experience of ups and downs.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

In primary school he drew out his future as only a child could do. It was fearless and unlikely, but left no room for doubt or questioning. It was a l(...)

Jared Payne in action against Connacht at the  Sportsgrounds. “It’s massive for us to win some silverware.” Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

It can’t have been easy to be a foreign player compelled to watch his first season from the stands. As Jared Payne recuperated from a ruptured Achill(...)