Ian Madigan could play at scrumhalf if necessary for Ireland.

Murphy’s Law – “whatever can go wrong, will” – is something Australia coach Michael Cheika is unlikely to take too seriously. While most teams (...)

Robbie Henshaw: “We’re going to attack a lot more and it’s going to be more exciting play.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

This time four years ago he was embarking on his final year at school, during which he would captain Marist College to their first Connacht Schools Cu(...)

Ireland fullback Simon Zebo breaks free to score a try in the 61st-minute against Scotland in the Rugby World Cup warm-up game at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 8:14

This was a sloppier, less accurate Irish performance, but Scotland put up a more meaningful and exacting challenge than Wales a week previously, wh(...)

Irish captain Sean O’Brien presents the ball during Ireland’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on Saturday.  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 8:14

Two warm-up wins with very close to 100 per cent set piece and eight tries scored (five from backs!) is a very happy return from the 34 players bloode(...)

Ireland outhalf Ian Madigan kicks crossfield for Luke Fitzgerald to score the final try of the World Cup warm-up against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:    James Crombie/Inpho 8:14

Simon Zebo insists Ireland still have plenty of work to do ahead of next month’s Rugby World Cup after claiming claimed a hard-fought 28-22 victory ov(...)

Ireland fullback Simon Zebo is tackled during the World Cup warm-up game against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:   Billy Stickland/Inpho 3:24

Ireland 28 Scotland 22 Another win then surrounded by more positives than negatives. “The real positive is we can report a clean bill of health,” said(...)

Ireland’s Chris Henry:   “Watch his early adoption of suitable body position as he puts himself into the ideal entry point over the ball.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 2:30

Kilkenny’s extraordinary methodology makes hurling a super team sport; so too Joe Schmidt’s rugby but for me it’s off shore sailing epitomised by t(...)

Keith Earls breaks with the ball to score an Ireland try during the international match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The slickness of this performance was testimony to the coaching skills of Joe Schmidt and his staff, and the trademark(...)

Keith Earls: “I haven’t played in a Test in two years and if I get my chance I’ll be taking it. It can be your last.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Snakes & Ladders is a board game designed for children but there’s an argument that it offers an apt metaphor to describe the arbitrary nature of (...)

Ian Keatley has been left out of Ireland’s 45-man training squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has named his 45-man training squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup. Notable absentees from Schmidt’s squad include Ian Kea(...)