Simon Zebo is the one surprise in an otherwise anticipated selection with Dave Kearney on the wing. Photograph: Inpho

If the stakes weren’t high in any case for an Anglo-Irish sporting set-to, the need to avoid a second successive defeat before the World Cup kicks off(...)

Ulster centre Darren Cave has said the pursuit of a place at the Rugby World Cup took over his life. Photograph: Inpho

A place on the bench in Twickenham can bring its own strains. But at least Darren Cave is there. He’s on the plane. He’s in the squad. He’s got his ti(...)

Tighthead Mike Ross (left) believes 22-year-old Tadhg Furlong has the talent to be Ireland’s versatile prop. Photograph: Inpho

Remember Twickenham on St Patrick’s Day 2012 and Tom Court’s traumatic experience at the hands of Dan Cole? Same stadium, same English tighthead, Mike(...)

Yannick Jauzion of France celebrates as the final whistle signals his team’s victory in the Quarter Final of the Rugby World Cup 2007 match between New Zealand and France at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Having being beaten France home and away over the last two years it seems like Ireland have finally managed to shake the Gallic hoodoo which saw then (...)

Coach Joe Schmidt will confirm team selection at lunchtime on Thursday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt is expected to send over a strong Irish side for Saturday’s last of four warm-up games before the World Cup, against the hosts, England(...)

Ireland’s Simon Zebo rides the tackle to break free and score a try. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

There will be more than Munster fans quietly pleased for Simon Zebo. What he represents and often delivers feeds into the better instincts of those(...)

 Ireland rugby  manager Joe Schmidt during a citizenship ceremony at the Department of Justice and Equality, St Stephen’s, Green, Dublin, September 2nd, 2015. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins 0:35

Three “warriors” of Irish rugby became the country’s newest citizens at a ceremony held in Dublin on Wednesday - among them Ireland rugby manager Joe (...)

Ireland secondrow Devin Toner will hope to fend off the challenge of Iain Henderson and Donnacha Ryan and partner Paul O’Connell in the scrum. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Waiting by the phone for a phone call from the boss is no one’s idea of a pleasant Sunday, and that was certainly true of the Irish players vying for (...)

Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby, head coach Joe Schmidt and assistant coach Les Kiss at the Ireland World Cup squad announcement. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Having burned the midnight oil on Saturday night analysing the defeat to Wales, Joe Schmidt rose early on Sunday to analyse Ulster’s game in Edinbu(...)

Ian Madigan in action during an Ireland training session at Carton House on Tuesday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt has revealed that he spoke to Ian Madigan as long ago as last season about the possibility of being a backup scrumhalf. Madigan, who re(...)