Ireland forwards coach Simon Easterby with Joe Schmidt. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

In that typically unfussy and unstated way of his, both as player and coach, Simon Easterby has again become a hugely important figure within the Irel(...)

Joe Schmidt with Philippe Saint-André and Serge Blanco ahead of Ireland’s clash with France at the World Cup. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

French rugby: exiled from artistry by greed or a coach floundering out of his depth? According to Philippe Saint-André, until the national team become(...)

Blackrock’s James McGowan and Patrick Patterson with Conor Jennings and Peter Maher of Belvedere College in pursuit during the  Leinster Schools Senior Cup quarter-final at Donnybrook. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Blackrock College 10 Belvedere College 10 This was a Leinster Schools Senior Cup quarter-final to rank with any that have gone before it at Donnybro(...)

Johnny Sexton in action against Wales in their Six Nations opener. “On seeing his demeanour on the field last Sunday it looked to me like he was enjoying his rugby again.” Photograph: Getty Images

The well-worn line about doing the jersey justice resonates in the wake of Paul O’Connell’s retirement from rugby. But a genuine tribute to Paulie’s l(...)

Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss said of Paul O’Connell: “He’s just an icon and a man of great substance. When he spoke he was imposing and it was compelling.” Phptograph: Inpho

Naturally enough, it didn’t take long for Paul O’Connell’s retirement to feature at Ulster’s media day ahead of Friday’s Pro12 meeting with Glasgow Wa(...)

Team mates: Donnacha Ryan and Paul O’Connell on the pitch. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Player, friend, team-mate, educator, motivator and standard-bearer – Donnacha Ryan knew Paul O’Connell in each one of those guises. They rubbed shou(...)

Keith Earls sat out Ireland’s training session at carton House on Tuesday. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

The Ireland squad limited themselves to a run-out of medium intensity for about 45 minutes amid the snow flurries at their Carton House base yesterday(...)

Munster scrum coach Jerry Flannery believes paul o’Connell still has lots to offer rugby. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The manner in which Paul O’Connell turned from being ‘useless enough’ as a teenager into one of the best players in the world is an example to all you(...)

Paul O’Connell celebrates scoring a try against Wales in 2002. Photograph: Inpho

Alas and alack, there will be no Indian Summer on the Côte d’Azur. Regrets, he’ll have a few, right until the anti-climactic end and that is indeed a (...)

Paul O’Connell, with RC Toulon owner  Mourad Boudjellal, has said being unable to represent the French side is ‘a big disappointment.’ Photograph: INpho

Paul O’Connell has said being unable to play for three-in-a-row champions of Europe RC Toulon is one of the few major disappointments of his glitterin(...)