On your marks: Paul O’Connell will captain Ireland in their decisive tie against England in the Six Nations. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Once again the stakes are huge. Once again the meeting of last year’s top two finds both countries unbeaten. So come the full-time whistle the winners(...)

Jordi Murphy comes in to replace Jamie Heaslip for Sunday’s Six Nations fixture against England. Photograph: INPHO 4:18

Ireland must be a three-dimensional team to defeat England, said Joe Schmidt, as he contested the assertion that his game plan is “boring, one dimensi(...)

 Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt talks to his team before the Six Nations game against France. The only change to the side that won that game is  because of injury. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt is expected to keep changes to a minimum when he announces the Ireland starting XV and replacements to face England at lunchtime today for(...)

Ireland hooker Rory Best at lineout training ahead of Sunday’s match against England at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 3:06

Although changes are sure to be minimal, the Irish coaching staff may just have had a little more discussion than might have seemed likely after their(...)

 Jordi Murphy replaced Jamie Heaslip as number eight in Ireland’s first Six Nations game of the year against Italy. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The normally indestructible Jamie Heaslip has become such a part of the furniture in the Ireland camp over the last eight seasons that, well, even (...)

Stuart Lancaster’s England squad training at Pennyhill Park in Bagshot, Surrey, ahead of Sunday’s Six Nations clash against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Those who feel the Ireland squad are spoiled by the salubrious confines of Carton House need to see Pennyhill Park in Surrey.England’s centre of exce(...)

Ireland’s Jamie Heaslip stands for the National Anthem against France. He was substituted after 60 minutes with a back injury. Photograph:  James Crombie/ Inpho

Jamie Heaslip will miss Ireland’s next Six Nations Championship match against England at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday week after scans revealed that(...)

Paul O’Connell and his team-mates had the character and fitness levels to withstand the charge of the French bench in the second half. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Great AK was right; ‘no amount of analytical physics can open a door’ but in the end energy, team spirit and tactical nous can close many a French(...)

Johnny Sexton was named man of the match in Ireland’s 18-11 Six nations win over France at the Aviva Stadium.  (Photograph: REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton)

Ireland player ratingsRob Kearney 7Made nine carries for 53 metres. A jarring, wrap tackle on Scott Spedding earned an important 24th minute penalty a(...)

France’s centre Mathieu Bastareaud is tackled by Scotland hooker Ross Ford  at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, nearParis. Photograph: Miguel Medina / AFP / Getty Images

It may seem the number of carries in a rugby match, and who carried the ball, is simply a bald figure that shows who made the most yards, or, who was(...)