Jordi Murphy replaced Jamie Heaslip as number eight in Ireland’s first Six Nations game of the year against Italy. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The normally indestructible Jamie Heaslip has become such a part of the furniture in the Ireland camp over the last eight seasons that, well, even (...)

Connacht’s Craig Ronaldson scores his side’s first try against Newport Gwent Dragons during their  Pro12 clash at Rodney Parade. Photograph: Ian Cook/CameraSport/Inpho

Connacht secured the vital four points to maintain their grip on the sixth place in the Pro12 when edging 14-man Dragons at Rodney Parade. Connacht w(...)

Craig Ronaldson scored Connacht’s first try in their 30-25 Pro 12 win over the Dragons at Rodney Parade. (Photograph: INPHO/CameraSport/Ian Cook)

Newport Gwent Dragons 25 Connacht 30Connacht secured the vital four points to maintain their grip on the sixth place in the Pro 12 when edging 14-man (...)

Tommy O’Donnell returns to the Munster starting line up for Saturday’s Pro 12 fixture against Scarlets. (Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer)

Anthony Foley has named eight changes to his Munster side for Saturday’s game away at Scarlets, with the some of the province’s international cohort r(...)

England’s centre Jonathan Joseph  evades the tackle of Wales winger George North to score a try during the Six Nations match at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP

Around and around it goes. Rugby would like to be rid of the issue but concussion has again troubled players over the weekend with at least three Six (...)

“Johnny has been training over the last couple of weeks with the rest of the squad. He’s been getting his reps in so that shouldn’t be a problem.”

Irish coach Joe Schmidt is hoping that six returning players as well as Rory Best will be available for selection when he picks his side on Thursday f(...)

 Jamie Heaslip has been playing with a shoulder problem he picked up against Ulster. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Jamie Heaslip represents a slight concern ahead of Ireland’s opening match against Italy in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday as he seeks to sh(...)

Ireland number eight  Jamie Heaslip remains a slight doubt for Saturday’s opening Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Jamie Heaslip is a slight concern ahead of Ireland’s opening Six Nations Championship match against Italy in Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Saturday as h(...)

Connacht’s Robbie Henshaw celebrates with head coach Pat Lam after beating Munster. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Pat Lam hailed Connacht’s best performance of the season and most important win of a burgeoning season to date. This win revived their aspirations of(...)

Munster’s Paul’Connell will have his own hands full as his side take on Clermont Auvergne at Thomond Park in the Champions Cup. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

To think that we could have missed out on this. The next two weekends of the traditional back-to-back pre-Christmas games could define European Cha(...)