Ireland rugby  manager Joe Schmidt during a citizenship ceremony at the Department of Justice and Equality, St Stephen’s, Green, Dublin, September 2nd, 2015. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins 0:35

Three “warriors” of Irish rugby became the country’s newest citizens at a ceremony held in Dublin on Wednesday - among them Ireland rugby manager Joe (...)

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 flanker Jordi Murphy had a tough day against the outstanding Justin Tipuric of Wales during the World Cup warm-up at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Iain Henderson or Devin Toner? It’s not really a tough call anymore. The second best forward in Ireland these past six months, this 23-year-old Craiga(...)

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 fullback Simon Zebo breaks free to score a try in the 61st-minute against Scotland in the Rugby World Cup warm-up game at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 8:14

This was a sloppier, less accurate Irish performance, but Scotland put up a more meaningful and exacting challenge than Wales a week previously, wh(...)

Irish flanker Chris Henry:  “If you do something that makes somebody look good it is noticed . . .” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 6:19

Understandably Chris Henry wants to confine the stroke he suffered on the morning of the South Africa game last November, and subsequent heart surg(...)

Jamie Heaslip of Ireland charges upfield during the International match between Wales and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

So Pool D runners-up will be playing New Zealand on 17th October. Ahhh. But Pool D winners will have the reward of Argentina a day later. Neither Irel(...)

Keith Earls breaks with the ball to score an Ireland try during the international match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The slickness of this performance was testimony to the coaching skills of Joe Schmidt and his staff, and the trademark(...)

Simon Zebo is congratulated by three other Ireland try scorers, Jamie Heaslip, Felix Jones and Keith Earls after his score against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: PA

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The final scoreline, if anything, flattered Wales. Ireland were way more cohesive than a Welsh team cobbled together from World Cu(...)