Ireland flanker Jordi Murphy had a tough day against the outstanding Justin Tipuric of Wales during the World Cup warm-up at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Iain Henderson or Devin Toner? It’s not really a tough call anymore. The second best forward in Ireland these past six months, this 23-year-old Craiga(...)

Ireland’s Iain Henderson in action in the World Cup warm-up match against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:   Cathal McNaughton/Action Images via Reuters/Livepic 11:57

Ireland 10 Wales 16 The cascading rain that enveloped the Aviva stadium for the final 10 minutes of the contest provided a suitably leaden hued backdr(...)

Irish centre Darren Cave is tackled during last Saturday’s 2015 Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Darren Cave’s prospects of making Ireland’s 31-man squad were enhanced last season by him reinventing himself as an inside centre. Given he can als(...)

Simon Zebo is congratulated by three other Ireland try scorers, Jamie Heaslip, Felix Jones and Keith Earls after his score against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: PA

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The final scoreline, if anything, flattered Wales. Ireland were way more cohesive than a Welsh team cobbled together from World Cu(...)

Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip in relaxed mood with head coach Joe Schmidt during the captain’s run at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

As Jamie Heaslip noted, time was when players re-introduced themselves to the game with a modest pre-season friendly for their provinces, maybe a leag(...)

Wales coaches Robert Howley and head coach Warren Gatland - Wales have announced their XV for the game against Ireland. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Wales head coach Warren Gatland says he is looking for the perfect blend of experience and youth ahead of the upcoming World Cup, and he’s blooding(...)

Warren Gatland has named nine uncapped players in his 47-man training squad for the Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Getty

The Wales head coach Warren Gatland has turned to the Premiership as he starts preparing in earnest for the World Cup. His training squad of 47 for th(...)

Munster will again look to get to grips with Ospreys’ Rhys Webb, who has been one of the form half-backs of the PRO12 season. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Two long-standing Irish-Welsh rivals, and two organisations desperately hungry for some silverware. The three-time champions against the four-time cha(...)

Peter O’Mahony returns to the Munster side for their Pro 12 play-off semi-final against the Ospreys. Photogrpah: Inpho

Captain Peter O’Mahony and Simon Zebo both return to the Munster side for their Pro 12 semi final against Ospreys at Thomond Park on Saturday. O’Mahon(...)

For the Thomond Park x-factor to come into play on Saturday, Anthony Foley admits there will need to be a good deal more supporters in situ come the less than ideal 2.30pm kick-off.

Time was when the prospect of an end-of-season play-off at Thomond Park would have whet the juices like no other fixture and next Saturday’s Guinness(...)