Ireland’s Keith Earls and Simon Zebo enjoy a lighthearted moment during the captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium yesterday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Ireland v Scotland, Aviva Stadium, Saturday, 5pm The final Saturday looks less than Super, and especially so from an Irish perspective. Readjust(...)

Johnny Sexton in action against Wales in their Six Nations opener. “On seeing his demeanour on the field last Sunday it looked to me like he was enjoying his rugby again.” Photograph: Getty Images

The well-worn line about doing the jersey justice resonates in the wake of Paul O’Connell’s retirement from rugby. But a genuine tribute to Paulie’s l(...)

Ireland’s Six Nations will be fascinating to lineout nerds. No Paul O’Connell in the Irish set-up; more pressure on Devin Toner to run the show. And n(...)

Toulon’s Drew Mitchell is denied a try by Leinster’s Seán Cronin and Isa Nacewa. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

This was Leo Cullen’s mulligan. Everyone knows Leinster are in a period of rebuilding without the correct tools to actually do so in this new European(...)

Leinster’s Cian Healy dejected after the game Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

This was Leo Cullen’s mulligan. Everyone knows Leinster are in a period of rebuilding without the correct tools to actually do so in this new European(...)

Lock Hayden Triggs has said it is a privelege to play for Leinster. Photograph: Inpho

Save for Brad Thorn’s momentous three-month stay at the end of the 2011-12 season, Leinster haven’t exactly been blessed with luck when it comes to l(...)

 Tommy Seymour celebrates after scoring the first try for Scotland against Samoa at St James’ Park. Scotland won 36-33. Photograph: Lee Smith/Livepic/Reuters

The view on Scotland from London runs from to lucky-to-be -here to bleak. Condemned they sit in the ante room of Surrey Sports Park, waiting for the t(...)

Canada’s lock Jamie Cudmore:  “That’s a key thing, keeping rugby’s ethics. You play hard, you shake hands – there’s a good level of respect.” Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

It’s tempting to cast Jamie Cudmore in the role of pantomime villain, but there is nothing cartoonish about the periodic fistic confrontations that ha(...)

IToulon-bound Paul O’Connell in action at Ireland rugby squad training at the Sportsground in Galway. Photograph: Dan Sheridan

Paul O’Connell clarified that while his decision to sign for Toulon represents an exciting opportunity to pen a new chapter in his career, the Worl(...)

Barbarians’ Zane Kirchner touches down to score a try in the game against an Ireland XVat Thomond park. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Barbarians 22 Ireland 21 The individual consequences will be more significant after Ireland slipped to a defeat at Thomond Park that will merely be a(...)