Cian Healy is named on the bench for Leinster against Zebre on Friday night. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Cian Healy looks set to make his first appearance of the year in the blue of Leinster on Friday night against Zebre at the RDS. The prop was called on(...)

 Tommy O’Donnell of Ireland scores the second try against   Italy at   the Stadio Olimpico   in Rome. Photograph: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images 2:48

Italy 3 Ireland 26 Another performance from Joe Schmidt’s utterly efficient Ireland that leaves us knowing so much more is to still come. A(...)

Ireland’s Conor Murray in action: the scrumhalf has  been passed fit to play against Italy in Rome this Saturday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Conor Murray and Dave Kearney, two constants in last season’s victorious Six Nations side, have been passed fit to play against Italy in Rome this Sat(...)

Jared Payne has returned to the Ulster squad for the province’s trip to play Benetton Treviso. (Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

Ulster have named two changes from the side beaten by Leinster at the RDS last weekend for tomorrow’s trip to Italy to play Benetton Treviso.Louis Lud(...)

Jamie Heaslip at the pre-match press conference. Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

As regular season games go, the stakes here are higher than is even usually the case for an interpro derby. Aside from the manifold implications at th(...)

Jack Conan in action against Munster’s Tommy O’Donnell and Duncan Williams at  Thomond Park. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The value of covering Leinster schools rugby all these years comes in the form of Jack Conan. First sight of him was 2010, barrelling through Terenur(...)

Paddy Jackson returns from a shoulder injury for Ulster’s Guinness Pro 12 clash with Connacht on St Stephen’s Day. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Inpho/Presseye/

Ireland international outhalf Paddy Jackson returns from a shoulder injury to take his place in the Ulster side for the sold-out Guinness Pro 12 fixtu(...)

Ulster’s Darren Cave scores a try despite the tackle of Scarlets’ Scott Williams during the European Rugby Champions Cup match at  Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photograph:  Darren Kidd/Inpho/Presseye

Ulster 24 Scarlets 9Ulster delivered the bonus-point victory but the tariff was mighty high in terms of injuries. During the course of a hard-fought c(...)

 Ruan Pienaar (centre) returns from injury to face the Scarlets. Photograph: Inpho

Ruan Pienaar will make his first start of the season for Ulster as they attempt to breathe some life into their ailing Champions Cup against the Scarl(...)

Ulster hooker Rory Best goes through his paces with the Ireland squad at Carton House, Co Kildare. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland approach their final Guinness Series Test in ruder health than Joe Schmidt and the management ticket might have envisaged. Saturday’s rendezv(...)