Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby with Joe Schmidt. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

In that typically unfussy and unstated way of his, both as player and coach, Simon Easterby has again become a hugely important figure within the Irel(...)

Cian Healy lasted 70 minutes of Leinster’s 52-0 win over Zebre. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster 52 Zebre 0 Only the most ardent Leinster pessimists believed this was a contest to decide winners and losers. The team sheets told as much b(...)

Rob Kearney and Dave Kearney challenge for the high ball with with Sébastien Tillous-Borde of France during the   Rugby World Cup Group D at Millennium Stadium in  Cardiff. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt was late with yesterday’s lunchtime announcement of the Irish side to face France, because he was still finalising it. In the event, th(...)

Flanker Seán O’Brien is expected to return to the Ireland team against France having recovered from a hamstring injury. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The consequences of last Sunday’s Celtic Demolition Derby has left Joe Schmidt’s team selection in a state of flux. Ireland were obliged to make 17(...)

The Connacht team form a huddle in training ahead of their trip to Wales. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht head coach Pat Lam has made three personnel changes from the starting XV that lined out in the defeat of Scarlets ahead of the trip to Rodney(...)

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(...)

Paul O’Connell celebrates scoring a try against Wales in 2002. Photograph: Inpho

Alas and alack, there will be no Indian Summer on the Côte d’Azur. Regrets, he’ll have a few, right until the anti-climactic end and that is indeed a (...)

Jonathan Danty made his France debut in the 23-12 Six Nations win over Italy. Photograph: AFP

Jonathan Danty has admitted his poor lifestyle almost cost him his France career. The 23-year-old centre capped a whirlwind 12 months with his Test d(...)

Jack Carty will be out for up to three months after rupturing his spleen after an accident on a water slide. Photograph: Inpho

A much-needed respite from rugby has turned into a nightmare for Connacht’s Jack Carty who has undergone surgery in Dubai to remove his spleen. After(...)

Rhys Ruddock replaced Tommy O’Donnell during Ireland’s Six Nations draw with Wales. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland have proved they can still set the Six Nations standard, even without a raft of injured frontline stars, according to Rhys Ruddock. Flanker (...)