Conor Murray tries  to charge down Rhys Priestland’s attempt at  a late drop goal at the Aviva Stadium.Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Bruised, battered but unbeaten, the Irish squad will spend much of the next two days recovering from their exertions against Wales at the outset of a (...)

“It’s a day for boot, bite and bollock,” said Ronan O’Gara on the RTÉ panel. Photograph: Anthony Wallace /AFP/Getty Images

For youngsters, John F Kennedy is the man who promotes wind energy on the telly, but for the rest of us he’s the fella who foresaw how many would feel(...)

Jonathan Sexton carries a heavy burden for Ireland. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

There was a sharp intake of breath on RTÉ’s morning sports bulletin when it became apparent that Shane Horgan was about to commit an unofficial act of(...)

 Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt with his team. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

For players and coaches, losing games of international rugby brings nothing but bad vibes. Most of the negativity of defeat is based around regret. (...)

Munster duo Tommy O’Donnell and CJ Stander both start for Ireland against Wales on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho

Rob Kearney and Sean O’Brien are the latest senior players ruled out of the opening Six Nations match against a well-stocked Welsh side. The Lei(...)

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(...)

CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 14: Ireland player Jamie Heaslip gets to grips with Alun Wyn Jones of Wales during the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at Millennium Stadium on March 14, 2015 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Super Saturday was indeed beyond superlative, but it does look a rather long time ago now. In glorious mid-March conditions the day rained points (2(...)

Johnny Sexton: He remains the most important figure in Irish rugby. If he stays fit, if he rediscovers his form, he will make things happen. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Rugby is an odd profession. You only get 80 minutes each week to prove your worth with the rest of the time dominated by recovery and preparation. Th(...)

Scrumhalf Conor Murray takes a selfie with young supporters during Ireland’s open training session at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Contract-wrangling used to be a relatively private affair in Irish rugby, with the odd exception. Now, it has managed to find a more public forum as p(...)

“With Paul O’Connell gone, Ireland’s next main influence will emerge during this Six Nations. He has to and he doesn’t necessarily have to be the captain.” File photograph:  Stu Forster/Getty Images

It’s hard to see the wood through the trees at the moment. But it’s there. The great unknown can worry Irish rugby supporters but glance back through (...)