Charles Piutau, seen here in  action for Auckland Blues in March, will join Ulster on a two-year deal from this summer. Photograph:   Michael Bradley/AFP/Getty Images

Charles Piutau will join Ulster on a two year deal in July 2016 the province has confirmed.The 23-year-old utility back – he can play anywhere from 12(...)

Peter Stringer will leave Bath at the end of the season. Photograph: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Sam Burgess will start, with Peter Stringer to feature at scrumhalf, as Bath intend to use every arrow in their quiver to stop Leinster in the Champio(...)

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell holds up the Six  Nations trophy alongside his team-mates. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 2:52

Entrepreneurs are masters of assessing the risk and reward equation. What will I gain for what I am being asked to risk? On Saturday, the reward for t(...)

Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip makes the crucial try-saving tackle as Scotland fullback  Stuart Hogg loses possession and knocks on going over the try line during the Six Nations game at Murrayfield. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho 9:27

It was a day of tiny margins where fate smiled on Ireland. A late try in Rome punctured rampant Welsh enthusiasm and despite missing two eminently kic(...)

Devon Toner is the most improved player in the Irish team. His defensive work against an intelligent Welsh lineout will once again be crucial.  Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Welsh attacking system is called, “Wazza ball”. Designed, conceived and implemented by Warren “Wazza” Gatland. Wales have been playing Wazza ball,(...)

“He’s smart, he’s got a good way about him, but he doesn’t accept people letting their team-mates down,” says Jono Gibbes, who was forwards’ coach for Joe Schmidt for three years at Leinster. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

In last year’s 13-10 defeat to England in Twickenham, Ireland started the match with Peter O’Mahony, Chris Henry, Jamie Heaslip, Conor Murray, Johnny (...)

Ireland’s Johnny Sexton and Paul O’Connell in discussion during the Captains Run  at the Aviva Stadium ahead of Sunday’s Six Nations clash with England. Photograph:   Niall Carson/PA

Ireland against England is always a big deal, but it’s hard to escape the feeling Sunday’s game at the Aviva is a bit different. It’s a coming (...)

Wales’ Jamie Roberts takes on Scotland’s Rob Harley during their Six Nations  match at Murrayfield earlier this month. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

Wales centre Jamie Roberts will go into next Saturday’s Six Nations clash against France amid speculation that he could be released early from his con(...)

Jared Payne and Peter O’Mahony of Ireland with Mathieu Bastareaud of France:  Ireland made no line breaks, scored no tries but still won the game at the Aviva Stadium last week. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

On the wall in my grandfather’s house hung an ancient pendulum clock. It functioned because many intricate parts, some large and slow-moving, others t(...)

Jamie Heaslip is out of the England encounter with broken vertebrae. Photograph:  Michael Steele/Getty Images

Ireland’s seemingly most durable and indestructible player, Jamie Heaslip, remains the only casualty from last Saturday’s uber-physical, bosh fest wi(...)