Rory Best speaking in the huddle. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

It’s been feisty, it’s been mouthy, there’s been plenty of gamesmanship, much of it good-humoured before bordering on unsavoury, and it hasn’t even ki(...)

Simon Easterby: “It’s something that he feels is a strategy to try and get us to change, to do something different or react to it, but we can’t fall into that trap.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Eddie Jones has been having some fun portraying Ireland as one-dimensional purveyors of a kicking game. Following on from his quip about bringing in a(...)

Ireland secondrow Devin Toner pictured at  Carton House on Tuesday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Devin Toner has defended Ireland’s props saying the locks and backrow were as much to blame for the Irish scum being crushed in the second half of the(...)

Joe Schmidt: hoping for positive  news about Jared Payne  after Tuesday training. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt should be in a position this afternoon to make a decision on his playing resources ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations Champions(...)

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt: “I think you will see guys over the next three games that you probably haven’t seen in the tournament so far.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

It’s an ill wind and all that, but the loosening of Ireland’s grip on the Six Nations has given Joe Schmidt the elbow room to blood new players in the(...)

Kieran Marmion: returns to partner AJ MacGinty at halfback. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Zebre v Connacht, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Saturday, 4.30pm Irish time (TG4) Zebre may offer thanks for small mercies as they are able to field fou(...)

Jack Conan in training earlier this week: player is  among the eight changes within the squad that Leo Cullen has made for the Cardiff Blues game. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Cardiff Blues v Leinster, Cardiff Arms Park, 3.0pm (Sky Sports 1) The misfortune suffered by Mike McCarthy that has prematurely ended his season a(...)

Ireland’s Dave Kearney is left grounded after Guilhem Guirado of France’s tackle during the Six Nations game in Paris. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

At face value it looks like carnage. For the opener against Wales, Ireland had nine frontline players ruled out through injury, a figure which rose t(...)

A concussed Mike McCarthy receives medical attention at the Stade de France after suffering a clash of heads with team-mate Jack McGrath during Ireland’s Six Nations match against France. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Tough guys get scared. Hayden Triggs broke ranks when saying as much last Monday. The players are freaked by what they are doing to each other in tra(...)

Ireland missed  Seán O’Brien’s leadership when he went off injured against France in thw Six Nations. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

No matter what happens, a successful team with intentions of longevity stays the course. Stays true to the process that has yielded success, especiall(...)