Darren Cave is set to provide midfield cover for Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payneat the World Cup. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

As has been the case with other World Cup squad selections, there was always going to be some risk-taking when Joe Schmidt and his coaches finalise(...)

Ireland fullback Rob Kearney rises high to claim the ball ahead of Wales outhalf Dan Biggar at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Fittingly the heavens opened for the last quarter, which suited the team in front, which was deservedly Wales. And so it was that the Red Dragonhood r(...)

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(...)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt faces a number of difficult decisions when it comes to selecting his squad for the World Cup. 2:54

Some celebrated outside backs are likely to miss out on the Ireland 31-man squad when it is submitted to the World Cup organisers by 5pm on Monday. No(...)

Anhtony Foley believes last year’s pro 12 final defeat will make Munster stronger this time out. Photograph: Inpho

The disappointment of losing last season’s Guinness Pro12 final will be a galvanising force for Munster ahead of the new campaign that begins in a for(...)

Jordi Murphy would relish the chance to bury some of his boyhood backrow heroes at the Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

It’s more a challenge than a dilemma for Jordi Murphy to face the players he once looked up to when he was a teenager. More immediately to fight his w(...)

Ireland’s Devin Toner during the captain’s run at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Six tries against Ireland in the two games against Wales and Scotland and despite winning, it sometimes feels as if looking at the negative side of(...)

Stephen Ferris was arguably the most destructive flanker ever to play for Ireland. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The cruelty of it all reverberates when realising Stephen Ferris only turned 30 this month. Probably the most destructive flanker to play for Irela(...)

Ireland’s Chris Henry:   “Watch his early adoption of suitable body position as he puts himself into the ideal entry point over the ball.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 2:30

Kilkenny’s extraordinary methodology makes hurling a super team sport; so too Joe Schmidt’s rugby but for me it’s off shore sailing epitomised by t(...)

Ian Keatley has been left out of Ireland’s 45-man training squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has named his 45-man training squad for this year’s Rugby World Cup. Notable absentees from Schmidt’s squad include Ian Kea(...)