Rob Kearney: A couple of loose kicks aside he was the personification of calm collection under the high ball and that infuses confidence in those around you. Rating: 7

15 Rob KearneyA couple of loose kicks aside he was the personification of calm collection under the high ball and that infuses confidence in those aro(...)

 George Ford and Jonathon Joseph have been  combining superbly for club and country. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

When it comes to England, I’m a five second man. There are many battles ahead on Sunday such as my absolute favourite: Mike Ross and Joe Marler at scr(...)

Ireland hooker Rory Best at lineout training ahead of Sunday’s match against England at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 3:06

Although changes are sure to be minimal, the Irish coaching staff may just have had a little more discussion than might have seemed likely after their(...)

Leinster’s scrum coach Marco Caputo sees Cian Healy as a unique specimen. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster scrum coach Marco Caputo sees Ireland’s Cian Healy as the last man England tight-head Dan Cole will want to see on Sunday.“His bogey man seem(...)

France’s Vincent Debaty  made a big impact on his introduction against Ireland and had a hand in the French try. Photo: Franck Fifefrank/AFP/Getty

Last Monday I highlighted the crucial timing of the bench’s entry. This of course is only part of the story. Not long ago being selected on the bench (...)

Paul O’Connell and his team-mates had the character and fitness levels to withstand the charge of the French bench in the second half. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Great AK was right; ‘no amount of analytical physics can open a door’ but in the end energy, team spirit and tactical nous can close many a French(...)

RBS 6 Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 14/2/2015Ireland vs France Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

It was all we’ve come to expect from modern-day Test rugby, brutally physical, suffocatingly tight, as taut as a wire and absorbing until the very fin(...)

Johnny Sexton was named man of the match in Ireland’s 18-11 Six nations win over France at the Aviva Stadium.  (Photograph: REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton)

Ireland player ratingsRob Kearney 7Made nine carries for 53 metres. A jarring, wrap tackle on Scott Spedding earned an important 24th minute penalty a(...)

Ireland’s Mike Ross holds on to the shorts of French winger Teddy Thomas to make a vital tackle during the Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 7:17

THE BREAKDOWNIreland were outplayed here and had to send extra numbers in to try and hang on to possession. As a result France had a numerical superio(...)

Ireland outhalf Jonathan Sexton lands one of his five successful penalty kicks during the Six Nations clash against France   at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland 18 France 11If winning is ultimately the only commodity that matters, it also colours the landscape panoramically. Ireland emerged victorious (...)