Leinster’s Ian Madigan says battle for places is intense. Photograph: Cathal Noonan

He is 26-years-old. By the time the next World Cup arrives he will be 30. There is no sense that Ian Madigan is panicking. He is over the first selec(...)

Ian Keatley has been left out of Ireland’s 45-man training squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has named his 45-man training squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup. Notable absentees from Schmidt’s squad include Ian Kea(...)

Joe Schmidt says the experience of Less Kiss will be invaluable when selecting Ireland’s squad for this year’s World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

In the aftermath of the disappointing Irish performance and defeat to the Barbarians in Thomond Park on Thursday night, Joe Schmidt gave little pointe(...)

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(...)

Irish Rugby Captain’s Run at Thomond Park: Colm O’Shea and Luke McGrath. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Joe Schmidt has distanced himself from last week’s upheaval at Leinster which saw Matt O’Connor removed as head coach two years into his three year co(...)

 Ruan Pienaar leaves the pitch with his dejected team-mates after the defeat to Glasgow in Scotstoun. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/Inpho

Ruan Pienaar seems to have been on the rugby treadmill for about five years now without a break, ever since joining Ulster five years ag o. If ever a(...)

Cian Kelleher of Lansdowne (right). He and Clontarf’s Collie O’Shae are named on the squad to take on Barbarians on Thursday. Photograph: INPHO/Donall Farmer

The overlap in the rugby lives of Cian Kelleher and Collie O’Shea represent a curious collision of circumstances over the past several weeks. The two (...)

Ulster team mates Paddy Jackson and Ruan Pienaar could face up against each other when Ireland play the Barbarians at Thomond Park on Thursday night. Photograph: Inpho

Joe Schmidt and his coaching team have named their squad for Ireland’s friendly against the Barbarians at Thomond Park on Thursday night. With (...)

Glasgow outhalf Finn Russell converts DTH van der Merwe’s late try to put his side in the lead in their Guinness Pro 12 game against Ulster at Scotstown. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Glasgow Warriors 16 Ulster 14 Glasgow Warriors booked their place in the final of the Guinness Pro12 after defeating favourites Ulster in a thrilling (...)

Ulster Rugby squad training at Kingspan Stadium, Belfast, ahead of their Pro12 semi-final against Glasgow at Scotstoun. Photograph: Brian Little/Inpho.

What makes Ulster a lesser proposition than last season or when they reached the 2012 European Cup final is the reduction of power forwards. Johann M(...)