Barbarians’ Zane Kirchner touches down to score a try in the game against an Ireland XVat Thomond park. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Barbarians 22 Ireland 21 The individual consequences will be more significant after Ireland slipped to a defeat at Thomond Park that will merely be a(...)

Clermont’s Nick Abendanon has been named European Player of the Year. Photograph: Inpho

Clermont Auvergne full back Nick Abendanon has been named the European Player of the Year 2015.28-year-old Abendanon was one of the standout performer(...)

A teenage Gordon D’Arcy at Ireland squad training in 1998. Photograph: Keith Heneghan/Inpho

First sight of Gordon D’Arcy was on his knees in the background. The snapshot from March 1995 is of Geordan Murphy, his predecessor in the art of evas(...)

Gordon D’Arcy’s announcement does not rule out the possibility of  a World Cup farewell. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

It’s been one of the stellar Irish rugby careers, for sure, and when the end of October comes and Gordon D’Arcy heads into the sunset he can do so (...)

Luke Fitzgerald has played 663 minutes for Leinster in the Pro12 this season, 41.4% of the total 1,600. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

When measured by the number of minutes played, at least half a dozen of Leinster’s frontline players have not been playing for their province during (...)

Blindside flanker Iain Henderson scores a try for Ulster against Leinster at Kingspan Stadium on Friday night. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/Inpho

Four more wins for the top four has decided the Guinness Pro12 play-off line-up with two full rounds to go, and with just four points covering them, o(...)

Leinster’s 26-10 defeat to Ulster at Ravenhill has all but eneded their hopes of a Pro 12 play-off spot. Photograph: Inpho

Matt O’Connor accepted that Leinster’s Pro12 campaign and with it their season is all but over after this latest defeat. “It’s going to be very hard f(...)

Craig Gilroy dives over for Ulsters second score in their 26-10 win over Leinster at Ravenhill. Photograph: Inpho

Ulster 26 Leinster 10Ulster set up a third Irish derby in a row at home to Munster two weeks’ hence, in a match that could decide home advantage in th(...)

Connacht’s Mils Muliaina says Australia were his toughest opponents. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

On the first Wednesday of April I had the good fortune to share a stool in Busker Brownes with many legends of our game, including Mils Muliaina. A hu(...)

Ian Madigan has been dropped for Leinster’s must win Pro 12 game against Ulster at Ravenhill. Photograph: Inpho

In what could be seen as a boost to Gordon D’Arcy’s hopes of making Ireland’s World Cup squad,  Leinster coach Matt O’Connor has taken the dec(...)