Centre Bundee Aki returns to the Connacht side for the game against Ulster. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht have been true to their aim of making the Sportsground a fortress this season, and on their return home for the first time in six weeks rare(...)

Jared Payne will line up against international centre partner Robbie Henshaw in Ulster’s game against Connacht at The Sportsground. Photograph: Inpho

Bundee Aki returns for Connacht for their Pro 12 clash against Ulster on Saturday while Neil Doak welcomes back Ireland Six Nations winning trio Rory (...)

Ulster’s Ireland contingent of Iain Henderson, Jared Payne, Rory Best and Tommy Bowe do a selfie after the Six Nations Championship win against Scotland at Murrayfield last month. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

Ulster travel to the Sportsground this Saturday knowing that for their hosts, Connacht, focusing on rugby will be a relief given the events of the las(...)

Rob Kearney is aware of the task facing Leinster. “Bath are a quality side. What they did to Toulouse was the performance of the season in the European Cup,” he says. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

History will judge this generation of Irish rugby players well and few more so than Rob Kearney. He is the only player to have started all five games (...)

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(...)

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(...)

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(...)

Robbie Henshaw, Jared Payne, Luke Fitzgerald, Rob Kearney and Jonathon Sexton at an Ireland squad training session at Carton House, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland 15 Rob Kearney Age: 28 Height: 1.85m (6’1”) Weight: 95kg (15st) Caps: 61 Tries: 10 (1 conversion) After a few early errors, he was one of the(...)

 Simon Zebo upended in the tackle.  Wales racing into a 12-0 lead threw a spanner in the works of this well-oiled Irish machine. Photograph:   Michael Steele/Getty Images

The pressure told; the pressure of the occasion maybe and, the shoe on the other foot, the scoreboard pressure applied on Ireland by Wales, who were m(...)

Rob Kearney: A few early errors but grew into the game with some traditional high fielding and a willingness to carry ball repeatedly: some success in breaking first line of defence on cut-backs and was his side’s most effective ball carrier with 104 metres. Rating 6

15 Rob KearneyA few early errors but grew into the game with some traditional high fielding and a willingness to carry ball repeatedly: some success i(...)