South African flanker Francois Louw believes emergence of such English talent as George Ford and Jonathan Joseph bodes well for Somerset club. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Francois Louw, the Springbok flanker, sounds like a man who lives in the moment, his focus not on some other week or other place but very much this w(...)

Jordi Murphy is set to start for Leinster against Bath in the Champions Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Matt O’Connor’s starting XV for Saturday’s season defining Champions Cup quarter-final against Bath at the Aviva stadium is taking shape.Mike Ross is(...)

Jordi Murphy training with Leinster. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Aside from his voracious work-rate and versatility, one of the attributes that marks Jordi Murphy apart from most is his ability to pick very good (...)

Rhys Ruddock suffered injury against Harlequins in the Champions Cup. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Rhys Ruddock’s truncated season has been ended by a recurrence of the arm problem which has sidelined him for all but two games since mid-December.(...)

The IRFU’s Dan Downey sets up the GPS units on the Aviva Stadium’s pitch ahead of Ireland’s Six Nations game against France in February. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Not so long ago a fag and orange segment was seen as restorative at half-time, an extra lap until you drop a good thing, a sign of heart. But in recen(...)

Leinster head coach Matt O’Connor: “There are a lot of games in the Pro 12 that are impacted on by the lack of availability of Test players.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster coach Matt O’Connor, so clearly at odds with Ireland’s player management plan, believes the refusal to release Jamie Heaslip, Rob Kearney, Ja(...)

Ireland players line up for the anthems ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between Scotland and Ireland - Six have been selected for our Six Nations team of the tournament. Photograph: Ian  MacNicol/Getty Images 9:27

15 Rob Kearney (Ireland):Leigh Halfpenny’s goal-kicking could give him the nod again. Stuart Hogg was electric and carried for 100 more metres. But Ke(...)

Irish captain Paul O’Connell holding the RBS Six Nations trophy as the Irish rugby team arrived back at Dublin Airport on Sunday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Jamie Heaslip raised the biggest cheer of another triumphant homecoming by hopping over the barrier at Dublin Airport to allow the fans to hold the RB(...)

Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip makes the crucial try-saving tackle as Scotland fullback  Stuart Hogg loses possession and knocks on going over the try line during the Six Nations game at Murrayfield. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho 9:27

It was a day of tiny margins where fate smiled on Ireland. A late try in Rome punctured rampant Welsh enthusiasm and despite missing two eminently kic(...)

Tommy Bowe:  He worked extremely hard all afternoon and made some excellent breaks for a 92-metre haul. A couple of offloads didn’t go to a teammate but that doesn’t take away from the impact he made. Rating: 7

15 Rob KearneyA little bit of a mixed bag, a fumble for Scotland’s try, a couple of sliced kicks but overall his contribution was on the positive side(...)