All Black legend and AIG ambassador Richie McCaw with a Dublin GAA jersey. Photograph:  Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Richie McCaw has lent his imprimatur to Ireland coach Joe Schmidt one-day fulfilling that role with the All Blacks. New Zealand’s recently retired ca(...)

Leinster’s Rob Kearney returns to the Leinster side after injury for their Pro12 game against Edinburgh at the RDS. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Leinster v Edinburgh, RDS, Friday, 7,35pm (TG4) The absence of Irish internationals Jonathan Sexton and Jamie Heaslip was a primary topic Leinster (...)

Billy Vunipola can offer the Lions destructive ball carrying from number eight. Photograph: Getty

A Kiwi dollar for Warren Gatland’s thoughts as his attention turns to Wales’s tour to New Zealand this June. There is still no better place to judge a(...)

England head coach  Eddie Jones doesn’t care what you think about Dylan Hartley.  Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

Don’t look now but without much fanfare, the England rugby team is playing for a 13th Grand Slam. Muffled was the laughter around the ‘home countries’(...)

Jack Nowell celebrates as Mike Brown evades Robbie Henshaw to score England’s second try at Twickenham on Saturday. Photograph: Andrew Fosker/Inpho

England 21 Ireland 10 Much like the game itself, this was a decidedly mixed bag of an Irish performance. Opinions will probably vary more wildly t(...)

England’s wing Mike Brown scores a try during the Six Nations match against Ireland  at Twickenham. Photograph:  Ben StansallAFP/Getty Images

England 21 Ireland 10 In the end, power told. England’s greater array of ball carriers and explosiveness in the collisions – epitomised by the phenom(...)

Statistics resemble Plasticine, malleable enough to shape most arguments. Ireland’s attacking patterns under Joe Schmidt have come in for periodic cri(...)

Joe Schmidt: hoping for positive  news about Jared Payne  after Tuesday training. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt should be in a position this afternoon to make a decision on his playing resources ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations Champions(...)

 Johnathan Sexton: was targeted off the ball by France’s Yohann Maestri.  Photograph: Alan Betson

It would be bitter not to doff ones cap to the French. The referee will have won few fans and Ireland suffered yet more injuries. But Guy Noves has re(...)

France’s substitute prop Eddy Ben Arous in actionat the Stade de France Stadium. Photograph: Getty Images

15 Maxime Medard He scored the only try of the match by taking a good line off a dominant scrum and running a good angle. He didn’t have much else to(...)