Jared Payne of Ireland is tackled by Taulupe Faletau of Wales during the  Six Nations match at the  Millennium Stadium  in Cardiff. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

With the Hook man talking about Doomsday back in the studio, Brent Pope, when we visited him in Cardiff after the game, tried his best to reassure us (...)

Rory Best during Ireland’s Captain’s Run at the Millennium Stadium two years ago, the last time they played Wales in Cardiff. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho. 5:42

Stuart Lancaster resorted to playing the Welsh song Hymns and Arias at full volume on loudspeakers at the squad’s indoor training facility at Pennyhil(...)

Paul O’Connell celebrates a try on his Ireland debut against Wales in the  2002 Six Nations. Photograph: INPHO/Allsport 3:42

February 3rd, 2002. Laid out after attempting to tackle Welsh secondrow Craig Quinnell, a red-haired man in a navy scrum cap lies prone atop the blue (...)

Jamie Roberts: is a different player in the Wales jersey – despite his less than spectacular sojourn wit Racing Metro. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Wales don’t scare us like France and England can. Still, we have to respect what they have achieved under Warren Gatland. Three Six Nations titles, in(...)

‘Kool and the Gang’: Keith Wood was full of praise for Mike Ross during Ireland’s Six Nations defeat of England at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

So did you pop out yesterday in the sunshine for a pound of butter? And then have to slide your way back like a Nordic skier? All the time fretting ab(...)

Putting it on the line: Ireland’s Keith Wood powers over for a  try against England in their 2001 Six Nations match. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

It’s the big one, simple as. Ireland against England has a resonance, a sense of history and occasion which surpasses all other Irish fixtures. Be it (...)

Munster’s Alan Quinlan wrestles with Leicester’s  Neil Back during the 2002 Heineken Cup final at the  Millennium Stadium in  Cardiff. Photo:  David Rogers/Getty Image

Rugby can sometimes contrive the Hollywood ending. And so it is the next time Neil Back and Peter Stringer line out, they may be chumming up to each (...)

Keith Wood pictured with his wife Nicola at the annual Ireland Funds’ rugby lunch at the Shelbourne Hotel. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

They were pushing their luck with a Friday the 13th lunch for a guest of honour nicknamed after a horror character, albeit a comic one. But som(...)

Robbie Henshaw says it was a great feeling to get the win, even sitting in the stands, in last year’s Six Nations, but “it’s a new challenge this year”.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The first thing that strikes you about Robbie Henshaw is how grounded and level-headed he is. Aside from a striking physicality which is unusual for a(...)

St Patrick’s Athletic  fans celebrate their side’s second goal against Derry City in the FAI Cup final at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

If St Pat’s were awarded a euro for every time their FAI Cup drought was mentioned in the last week, they’d have Messi, Ibrahimovic and Ronaldo up fro(...)