Jonathon Sexton in action against Australia. Ireland’s current game is largely based upon the kicking tactics employed by the halfbacks, Sexton and Conor Murray. Photograph:   Ian Walton/Getty Images

Not long after the horror of the Great War, Winston Churchill said ‘battles are won by slaughter and manoeuvre. The greater the general, the more he c(...)

Ireland’s Rob Kearney tackles Israel Folau during Saturday’s international rugby match against Australia at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters 5:39

On Friday I noted the key to Ireland’s success was high-tempo, low-error rugby. This of course was partly true, especially as Ireland rattled up 17 qu(...)

Ireland’s Tommy Bowe runs the length of the Aviva Stadium for an intercept try against Australia in Saturday’s international. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho 5:39

Ultimately, it was a rollercoaster akin to that of the final Saturday of November last year. Perhaps not quite on the same epic scale, but not far fr(...)

Paul O’Connell and Conor Murray during Ireland’s captain’s run at the  Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland-Australia matches don’t tend to do dull, and with a favourable forecast this should be no different. Like all previous match-ups, this will be(...)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt at  Carton House, yesterday. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho 3:59

There is, perhaps above all, the desire from within the squad to back up the win over South Africa and thus ensure an autumnal clean sweep for the fi(...)

Australia’s exciting talent Israel Folau is tackled by Ireland’s Luke Marshall during last season’s 32-15 defeat at the Aviva Stadium. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho i

On one level it might look as if Ireland have missed a trick. Whereas England and Wales will each host four Tests in this last November window before (...)

Michael Cheika answers a question at a news conference where he was announced as the new Australian  coach in Sydney. Photograpgh:  Jason Reed/Reuters

Michael Cheika has been appointed as the new Australia head coach.The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) announced a three-year contract for the former Le(...)

Nathan Charles  scuffles with France’s Frederic Michalak during final minutes of their second test in Melbourne. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Australia prevailed 6-0 over France in a dour, try-less contest on Saturday to seal the three-test series 2-0 and leave a subdued Melbourne crowd cold(...)

Australia’s Nick Cummins  scores a try against France  at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. Photograph: Jason O’Brien / Reuters

Australia 50 France 23Australia scythed through a porous French defence to score seven tries and a 50-23 victory over the visitors in their first test(...)

Michael Hooper of Australia is tackled by Sergio Parisse of Italy  at the Stadio Olimpico last weekend.  Photograph:  Harry Engels/Getty Images

Although vulnerable, the Wallabies are far more dangerous than a lazy perusal of their recent scoreboards would suggest. Having watched them lose in S(...)