Ireland fullback Rob Kearney rises high to claim the ball ahead of Wales outhalf Dan Biggar at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Fittingly the heavens opened for the last quarter, which suited the team in front, which was deservedly Wales. And so it was that the Red Dragonhood r(...)

Ireland’s Keith Earls tackles George North resulting in him being taken off injured during the World Cup warm-up match against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

All the indications in the aftermath of Saturday’s anti-climactic end to Paul O’Connell’s magnificent Test career on home soil, along with Ireland’(...)

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(...)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt faces a number of difficult decisions when it comes to selecting his squad for the World Cup. 2:54

Some celebrated outside backs are likely to miss out on the Ireland 31-man squad when it is submitted to the World Cup organisers by 5pm on Monday. No(...)

Ireland’s Paul O’Connell makes his way out for his final captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium yesterday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 2:54

This, at face value, looks more like it. Lions Test starters abound for Ireland’s last home game before the World Cup, with fringe contenders drinking(...)

Tadhg Furlong and Cian Healy taking part in Ireland’s squad session at Carton House. Furlong is expected to make his debut off the bench while Healy is nearing  full fitness. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 7:17

While tomorrow’s Irish line-up looks more familiar, opportunity again knocks for a chosen few against an equally more familiar and potent Wales. And (...)

Ian Madigan could play at scrumhalf if necessary for Ireland.

Murphy’s Law – “whatever can go wrong, will” – is something Australia coach Michael Cheika is unlikely to take too seriously. While most teams (...)

Ian Madigan launches a pinpoint crossfield kick for Luke Fitzgerald to score a try in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Same questions, different day. Ian Madigan continues to suffer under the yoke of perceived versatility as he has done ever since former Leinster coach(...)

Ireland’s Chris Henry:   “Watch his early adoption of suitable body position as he puts himself into the ideal entry point over the ball.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 2:30

Kilkenny’s extraordinary methodology makes hurling a super team sport; so too Joe Schmidt’s rugby but for me it’s off shore sailing epitomised by t(...)