Ireland’s Rob Kearney tackles Israel Folau during Saturday’s international rugby match against Australia at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters 5:39

On Friday I noted the key to Ireland’s success was high-tempo, low-error rugby. This of course was partly true, especially as Ireland rattled up 17 qu(...)

Tommy Bowe, Ian Madigan, Jamie Heaslip, Peter O’Mahony and Robbie Henshaw celebrate Ireland’s 26-23 defeat of Australia in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 5:39

As usual, you’d rarely guess from their post-match countenance that Joe Schmidt and Paul O’Connell had just completed a stellar year as Irish coach an(...)

Rhys Ruddock is held up during the Ireland vs Australia game in the Aviva Stadium: “It was mentally the most challenging game I’ve been involved in.” Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho 2:36

After November what do the rest of the world know about Ireland? “They got a very clear style of rugby and they are doing it well,” said Michael Chei(...)

Ireland’s Tommy Bowe runs the length of the Aviva Stadium for an intercept try against Australia in Saturday’s international. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho 5:39

Ultimately, it was a rollercoaster akin to that of the final Saturday of November last year. Perhaps not quite on the same epic scale, but not far fr(...)

Rob Kearney 7/10 - Excelled, but this could have been his greatest game for Ireland. Missed a couple of tackles, understandably steered clear of aerial duels with Israel Folau and hit the post with a drop at goal.

Rob Kearney 7/10Excelled, but this could have been his greatest game for Ireland.Missed a couple of tackles, understandably steered clear of aerial du(...)

 Ireland’s Paul O’Connell charges into   Luke Jones of Australia at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan / Inpho

Paul O’Connell, following an astonishing performance from the 35 year old, is asked whether Ireland would have lost this match to the Wallabies 12 mo(...)

Australia coach Michael Cheika: ‘We lacked that clinical edge at the end. We don’t have that yet.’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Michael Cheika called it a “rain of bombs.” Jonathan Sexton was the man lighting the fuse and while it wasn’t his best game for Ireland his influence (...)

Paul O’Connell and Conor Murray during Ireland’s captain’s run at the  Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland-Australia matches don’t tend to do dull, and with a favourable forecast this should be no different. Like all previous match-ups, this will be(...)

Paul O’Connell leads the captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium ahead of the game against Australia on Saturday. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Paul O’Connell has claimed “there’s been nothing done on my behalf” in the wake of rumours linking him with a move to France after next year’s World C(...)

The headline reads; ‘Connell and Ashton for France?’. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

French newspaper Midi Olympique has a headshot of Ireland captain Paul O’Connell beneath the front page masthead under a headline ‘Connell and Ashton (...)