Conor Murray is confident going into his second World Cup. “We are in a very good place and I don’t think we should be shying away from that,” he says. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

This time four years ago it’s still remarkable to think that Conor Murray went into Ireland’s World Cup preparatory programme as fifth choice scrumhal(...)

Brian O’Driscoll of Ireland scores a try as he is tackled by Elton Flatley of Australia during the Rugby World Cup Pool A match between Australia and Ireland in 2003. Photograph: Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

Ireland’s 2003 World Cup campaign got off to a fairly inconspicuous start, Eddie O’Sullivan’s side racking up 109 points and conceding just 24 as they(...)

Ireland failed to make it out of the pool of death at the 2007 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Getty

Ireland head into the 2015 World Cup with legitimate hopes of winning it, and this is based on something with far more substance than the usual hopefu(...)

“Kicking is also part of the game I get confidence from. There’s no doubt if I am kicking well it lifts other parts of my game,” says Ireland’s Ian Madigan. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

For a part of the game so available to eyes, the kicker’s personality has always been split. Often more important than scoring tries, kicking has beco(...)

Ireland outhalf Jonathan Sexton says France have been very focused on the World Cup and will present a huge challenge. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

As has usually been the case at World Cups, the Irish squad departed from New Zealand four years ago deflated. And some were probably a little more de(...)

2015 Rugby World Cup Warm-Up Match, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, Wales vs Ireland. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

BBC Wales earned the ubiquitous 15-minutes of fame, certainly in an Irish context, as the rugby or sporting diaspora tuned into the complexity of unsc(...)

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt will be seeking to fine-tune Ireland’s game plan in the weeks ahead. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Prior to the World Cup four years ago, Ireland would have traded four warm-up defeats for four wins in the pool stages, and that is exactly what trans(...)

Good ground could send the David Wachman trained Most Beautiful to the Curragh for a tilt at the Phoenix Stakes next Sunday. Photograph:  Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

Most Beautiful could attempt to continue David Wachman’s run of Group 1 success in this Sunday’s Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh, Europe’s (...)

Connacht head coach Pat Lam is targeting success in the Challenge Cup as a route into the European Champions Cup. Photograph: Kevin Barnes/Inpho

There are a variety of spellings but the one that appears to make the most sense is Yenisei-STM Krasnoyarsk to give them their full title. That’s the(...)

Pauric Mahony: Waterford will have to do without one of the game’s top free-takers when they take on Cork in the Munster senior hurling semi-final. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

When the news filtered out of Pauric Mahony’s atrocious injury a few weeks back, it changed tomorrow’s terms of engagement at a stroke. For all that w(...)