Ireland’s Six Nations will be fascinating to lineout nerds. No Paul O’Connell in the Irish set-up; more pressure on Devin Toner to run the show. And n(...)

Adam Byrne will make his second appearance for Leinster three years after his first. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Number crunching highlights the magnitude of the task facing Leinster as they look to clamber to the top of the Guinness Pro12 in the inhospitable su(...)

“We can’t afford to just throw Josh van der Flier (above), Gary Ringrose, Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey and promising Munster flanker Jack O’Donoghue into the Test match arena.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Talent will never be enough on its own. What characteristics are needed to make it as a professional rugby player? Bravery, naturally, and certain phy(...)

Munster’s  Barry Murphy scores against Sale Sharks in 2006. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

So the two teams who didn’t have anything left to play for duly did win, whereas the two who had everything to play for in terms of qualification, dul(...)

Leinster’s Peter Dooley chases Bath’s Semesa Rokoduguni at the RDS. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty felt something akin to paternal anxiety last week with Peter Dooley, James Tracy, Tadhg Furlong and Ross Molony mak(...)

Leinster’s Ross Molony contests a lineout against Bath’s Stuart Hooper during the European Champions Cup pool game at the RDS. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Anonymity being the best form of surprise, that’s gone now. “I don’t know the youngsters too well, to be honest,” said Mike Ford after his troubled (...)

Munster Head Coach Anthony Foley has made three changes to his side to play Stade Francais at Thomond Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

A curious quirk of the ill-judged fixture planning for the penultimate round of pool games in the two European competitions is that all four Irish sid(...)

Leinster backs coach Girvan Dempsey. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The injury prognosis for Leinster is reasonable as they conclude this segment of the Guinness Pro12 with a game against the Ospreys at the Liberty St(...)

Leinster’s Eoin Reddan and Munster’s Andrew Conway are upended during the sides’ Pro12 clash in Thomond Park. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

At half-time Munster had 96 carries to Leinster’s 44, but the score was 7-10 in Leinster’s favour. The wind had a hand in this, as did Munster’s miss (...)

Leinster’s Garry Ringrose in action against Munster at Thomond Park. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The real shame is Robbie Henshaw will not be running this last time for Connacht against Leinster (or just the latest time if you believe in western m(...)