Leinster’s Jonathan Sexton in action against Treviso on Sunday. Photograph: Maurilio Boldrini/Inpho

Benetton Treviso 3 Leinster 27 The imperfections of performance will be softened slightly by the fact that Leinster returned home from Italy with a b(...)

David Pocock and Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe  in last week’s semi-final: Pocock  gave a wonderful display of thievery against Argentina. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

New Zealand and Australia will take the field on Saturday with each bidding to be the first nation to claim a third Rugby World Cup. Fans of free-flo(...)

Ireland’s Johnny Sexton is expected to start against Argentina. Photo: Getty Images

Irish team manager Mick Kearney has given the broadest hint yet that Johnny Sexton will be fit to start Ireland’s World Cup quarter-final against Arge(...)

Ireland flanker Sean O’Brien arrived at 44 breakdowns against France. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

A slap, or a stupid assault. As the clock ticked from 29 to 30 seconds in the Millennium Stadium, was Seán O’Brien deliberately provoked into swinging(...)

Ireland’s lock Devin Toner vies with France’s prop Nicolas Mas during the Pool D match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Getty Images

It was a bittersweet triumph, the delight of victory diluted by the tournament ending injury to Peter O’Mahony, and Ireland captain Paul O’Connell. Th(...)

Ireland’s hooker Rory Best braces himself as two French players move in for the tackle. Photograph: Damien Meyer/AFP Photo/Getty Images

Sometimes the mistakes don’t matter because those imperfections are superseded by the integrity of application and unflinching belief. It takes cou(...)

France have vowed to hunt down Johnny Sexton in Sunday’s Rugby World Cup clash at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Afp

The pre-match psychological warfare in advance of Sunday’s Pool D showdown was ratcheted up a notch or two yesterday, with plenty of musings from Raci(...)

Peter O’Mahony’s brilliant try-saving tackle on Italy’s Josh Furno proved vital in Sunday’s Pool D encounter at the Olympic Stadium. Photograph:  Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

This evening’s individual review process for the Ireland team will be a little painful for most as Ireland coach Joe Schmidt analyses the performance (...)

Luke Fitzgerald challenges for a high ball with Matt Evans during Ireland’s opening World Cup match against Canada. Photograph: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The odds on Ireland winning Pool D shortened from 4/6 to 4/7 in the aftermath of beating Canada, and while that may seem a little premature, it tak(...)

Gilbert’s Match XV ball will be used at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Getty

Whether one believes or not in the legend of young William Webb Ellis, the oval shaped object at the heart of proceedings remains an instant identifie(...)