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 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(...)

Connacht captain John Muldoon and head coach Pat Lam at the launch of the Guinness Pro12. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

John Muldoon’s face creases into a broad grin. The Connacht captain didn’t hesitate for a moment when asked how he would feel about losing three of t(...)

Munster’s Shane Monahan is tackled by  Bundee Aki of Connacht during their pre-season friendly at Thomond Park, Limerick. Photograph: I npho

Connacht 28 Munster 12 Kieran Marmion caught the eye with a dominant 40 minutes as two first-half tries must have him back in Joe Schmidt’s Wor(...)

Connacht scrumhalf Kieran Marmion still has a chance of making Ireland’s World Cup squad. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Interprovincial Friendly Munster v Connacht Thomond Park, Friday, 7.45pm Kieran Marmion, if the theory holds, will make the breakthrough at interna(...)

Hooker Mike Sherry will make his first start for Munster since November 2013 in the pre-season game against Connacht at Thomond Park. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland international hooker Mike Sherry will make his first appearance for Munster in almost two years in Friday night’s pre-season game against Conn(...)

Leinster tighthead prop Marty Moore had shoulder surgery twice in seven months. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Marty Moore needs to come through Friday’s Leinster versus Ulster match in Belfast to make Joe Schmidt’s 31-man World Cup squad. The 24-year-old tight(...)

Keith Earls breaks with the ball to score an Ireland try during the international match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The slickness of this performance was testimony to the coaching skills of Joe Schmidt and his staff, and the trademark(...)

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(...)