Nigel Carolan: “The World Cup is essentially five games in three weeks whereas during the Six Nations we had five games over two months. It’s very condensed, very intense.” Photograph: James Crombie/INPHO

Stripped bare of expectation Ireland begin their Under-20 World Championship campaign against Argentina next Tuesday afternoon in Parma fuelled not by(...)

Ulster’s Stuart McCloskey scores a try against Benetton Treviso during the Pro12 game at Kingspan Stadium in February. Photograph: Darren kidd/Inpho.

Robert Frost’s poem The Road Not Taken has a resonance for many sports people. It is commonplace among the athletic fraternity to face a choice as a t(...)

Munster’s Donnacha Ryan: with the World Cup looming the secondrow could benefit from playing for Emerging Ireland at the Tbilisi Cup in June. Photograph: Inbpho

As the World Cup looms ever closer representative playing outlets become a cherished commodity for those looking to impress Ireland coach Joe S(...)

Under-20 Six Nations Championship head coach Nigel Carolan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Scotland U-20 v Ireland U-20, Netherdale (7.30pm) Ireland will try and end the Under-20 Six Nations Championship on an upbeat note having (...)

Ireland U-20s centre Garry Ringrose skips past Will Owen of England during the recent clash at Donnybrook. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

There will be a cathartic element for Ireland in returning to the test arena in Colwyn Bay following the frustration and disappointment of losing t(...)

Ireland’s captain Nicolas McCarthy ahead of their RBS Under 20 Six Nations match against England. Photograph: Cathal Noonan

Ireland Under 20s have named an unchanged team from that which excelled against France two weeks ago for the challenge of England, where another brui(...)

Ireland U20 captain Nick  McCarthy says the team is “just focused” on Friday’s Six Nations game against England in Donnybrook. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Following comprehensive victories over Italy and defending champions France, expectations will be high for the Ireland U20s when they welcome England(...)

 Ireland’s Steven Fitzgerald bursts past  Lucas Meret to score his Six Nations debut try against  France in Athlone. Photograph: James Crombie / Inpho

Ireland U20 37 France U20 20 Swashbuckling back play, a robust carrying game around the fringes and tremendous character in defence were the pr(...)

Robbie Henshaw says it was a great feeling to get the win, even sitting in the stands, in last year’s Six Nations, but “it’s a new challenge this year”.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

The first thing that strikes you about Robbie Henshaw is how grounded and level-headed he is. Aside from a striking physicality which is unusual for a(...)

 Ireland’s Cian Romaine scores a try against Italy in Biella.  Photograph: Matteo Ciambelli / Inpho

Italy 15 Ireland 47Ireland had not lost to Italy in seven previous meetings in the Under-20 Six Nations but they must have feared they were in a for t(...)