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 (...)

Joe Schmidt: will be trying to rebuild Irish confidence when the squad assembles at Carton House. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Well, that did it. As if Ireland’s worst collective performance in European rugby for 18 years wasn’t bad enough, the loss of Marty Moore for the Six (...)

 Johnny Sexton leaves the field after suffering a head injury in the match with Wasps: the Leinster and Ireland outhalf suffered four concussions in 2014. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Johnny Sexton did not fail the Head Injury Assessment (HIA) he underwent on Saturday at the Rioch Arena. The Leinster outhalf also passed the HIA he (...)

 Rory Best  runs at Simone Favaro of Italy during the 2015 Rugby World Cup. “To now captain Ireland going into the Six Nations is a massive thing for me and my family.” Photograph:  Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Spare a thought for Rory Best. There is probably no harder task than to succeed Paul O’Connell as captain, who had effectively succeeded Brian O’Drisc(...)

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has announced Rory Best as his captain. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt has named Ulster hooker Rory Best as his new captain for the Six Nations opener against Wales next month. Leinster number eight Jamie Heas(...)