Simon Zebo may be the next Munster player to go and ply his trade elsewhere. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

According to the IRFU’s High Performance Director, David Nucifora, the Irish provinces are not under-performing. In his pre-Christmas briefing at the(...)

Ulster’s Ian Humphreys: “You have to fight that bit harder for recognition and respect, not in a bad way, but you know you are on your own.” Photograph: Darren Griffiths/Presseye/Inpho

The last decade has shown that club loyalty in rugby is only as strong as the contract. The business of sport has ensured that. Leaving, as Johnny Se(...)

Ronan O’Gara of Munster kicks the winning penalty during the Heineken Cup Match between Leicester Tigers and Munster at Welford Road on October 22nd, 2006, in Leicester. Photograph: Getty Images

A curious anomaly of European matches between the Leicester Tigers and Munster is that the home side has yet to be victorious. Leaving aside the Tig(...)

This wonderful photograph from a packed  Ireland versus Austria match  in 1963 is just one of many in   ’Dalymount Park,   Home of Irish Football’ by Colin White.

THE BEST  No Borders – Playing Rugby For Ireland by Tom English (Arena Sport, €31.60) Oral histories are tricky to get right. An oral history (...)

 Ian Madigan, Hayden Triggs and Isaac Boss have some fun at Leinster squad training. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

This will tell us much about Leinster. They’ve backed themselves into quite a corner and both the circumstances of a brutally tough pool along with(...)

New Zealand’s Richie McCaw is tackled by Australia’s David Pocock during the 2015 Rugby Championship. Photo: Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images

THE BREAKDOWN Richie McCaw Position: Flanker. Age: 34. Height: 1.87m/6’ 2”. Weight: 107kg/16st 12lbs. Caps: 147 (27 tries) Why he’s so importan(...)

Scrumhalf Aaron Smith’s dynamic contributions have enabled New Zealand to play with the fast tempo that has become their hallmark. Photograph:   Phil Walter/Getty Images

Go through the history of the Rugby World Cup and aside from having a celebrated number 10, the eventual champions invariably have the world’s best(...)

Ireland’s captain Paul O’Connell has played his last game for his country. Photograph: The Irish Times

As Rob Kearney said aloud on Tuesday, how on earth can you sum up Paul O’Connell’s contribution to Irish rugby in 30 seconds? You can’t. It’s impossib(...)

Ireland supporters feel the strain during the World Cup Pool D game against Italy at the Olympic Stadium. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Well, aren’t we the neighbourly lot altogether? All this talk about the tournament losing its spark with England’s exit on Saturday night was hard to (...)

Robbie Henshaw during a gym session at  Surrey Sports Park in Guildford on Tuesday. The Connacht centre is in line to make his World Cup debut against Italy next Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Rob Kearney could conceivably play against Italy on Sunday but his glute strain is being managed with a view to a full recovery ahead of the French ga(...)