Ireland captain Paul O’Connell is braced for a physical encounter with italy at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland expect to be “battered up front and pushed to the limit” by Italy in Sunday’s crucial World Cup encounter at London’s Olympic Stadium. Captain(...)

Ireland’s Iain Henderson in action in the World Cup warm-up match against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:   Cathal McNaughton/Action Images via Reuters/Livepic 11:57

Ireland 10 Wales 16 The cascading rain that enveloped the Aviva stadium for the final 10 minutes of the contest provided a suitably leaden hued backdr(...)

Andrew Trimble has been ruled out of Ireland’s World Cup warm-up game against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Inpho

Marty Moore and Luke Fitzgerald will be available to coach Joe Schmidt ahead of Ireland’s second World Cup warm-up game against Scotland at the Aviva (...)

Donnacha Ryan in action during the Ireland squad’s training session at Carton House, Kildare yesterday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Iinpho 2:37

Donnacha Ryan, the nutcracker, what do we really know of him? A man from Nenagh hurling stock. A man who broke the concrete exterior of the Munster(...)

Rob Kearney, pictured with Scotland’s Greg Laidlaw, England’s Joe Marler and Wales’ George North, has urged Ireland fans to manage their expectations aheadof this year’s Rugby World Cup. Photograph: PA

Rob Kearney believes Ireland’s big Test rivals tipping Joe Schmidt’s men for World Cup glory is little more than a phoney war. Kearney has warned supp(...)

Ireland captain Paul O’Connell wants “to be sure” before he makes an announcement on his future in the game. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Further recognition of Paul O’Connell’s remarkable Indian summer came from his peers last night, when the Irish captain was chosen as the Irish Rugby (...)

Ireland’s captain Paul O’Connell was voted RBS Six Nations player of the tournament for 2015. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Irish captain Paul O’Connell has been voted this year’s RBS Six Nations Player of the Tournament.The 35-year-old Munster lock secured more than 26 per(...)

If the essence of the best sporting drama is great skill, unfortunate mistakes, nail-biting anxiety and unfettered joy, the final weekend of the 2015 (...)

Paul O’Connell runs out at the Millennium Stadium for the Ireland Captain’s Run ahead of the Six Nations match against Wales on Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

So many expeditions. The 100th cap is mere reminder of the plunging depths of service, the soaring peaks of achievement, so high they will never be re(...)

Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones has put in  stunning performances against Scotland and France. Photograph:  Stu Forster/Getty Images

Rob Howley believes that Ireland’s unrelenting accuracy “in everything they do” has helped make them such a force during Joe Schmidt’s coaching reign.(...)