Ulster centre Darren Cave has said the pursuit of a place at the Rugby World Cup took over his life. Photograph: Inpho

A place on the bench in Twickenham can bring its own strains. But at least Darren Cave is there. He’s on the plane. He’s in the squad. He’s got his ti(...)

Darren Cave is set to provide midfield cover for Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payneat the World Cup. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

As has been the case with other World Cup squad selections, there was always going to be some risk-taking when Joe Schmidt and his coaches finalise(...)

Ireland flanker Jordi Murphy had a tough day against the outstanding Justin Tipuric of Wales during the World Cup warm-up at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Iain Henderson or Devin Toner? It’s not really a tough call anymore. The second best forward in Ireland these past six months, this 23-year-old Craiga(...)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt faces a number of difficult decisions when it comes to selecting his squad for the World Cup. 2:54

Some celebrated outside backs are likely to miss out on the Ireland 31-man squad when it is submitted to the World Cup organisers by 5pm on Monday. No(...)

Ian Madigan could play at scrumhalf if necessary for Ireland.

Murphy’s Law – “whatever can go wrong, will” – is something Australia coach Michael Cheika is unlikely to take too seriously. While most teams (...)

 Paddy Jackson: “I just have to focus on playing 10, getting my roles right and trying manage the team around me.”

In a rugby world of utility players Paddy Jackson is content to stand proud as a specialist. Ask a number eight where he plays and it’s everywhere in (...)

“Kicking is also part of the game I get confidence from. There’s no doubt if I am kicking well it lifts other parts of my game,” says Ireland’s Ian Madigan. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

For a part of the game so available to eyes, the kicker’s personality has always been split. Often more important than scoring tries, kicking has beco(...)

Ireland fullback Simon Zebo breaks free to score a try in the 61st-minute against Scotland in the Rugby World Cup warm-up game at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 8:14

This was a sloppier, less accurate Irish performance, but Scotland put up a more meaningful and exacting challenge than Wales a week previously, wh(...)

Ian Madigan launches a pinpoint crossfield kick for Luke Fitzgerald to score a try in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Same questions, different day. Ian Madigan continues to suffer under the yoke of perceived versatility as he has done ever since former Leinster coach(...)

Ireland’s Chris Henry:   “Watch his early adoption of suitable body position as he puts himself into the ideal entry point over the ball.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 2:30

Kilkenny’s extraordinary methodology makes hurling a super team sport; so too Joe Schmidt’s rugby but for me it’s off shore sailing epitomised by t(...)