Ireland flanker Jordi Murphy had a tough day against the outstanding Justin Tipuric of Wales during the World Cup warm-up at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Iain Henderson or Devin Toner? It’s not really a tough call anymore. The second best forward in Ireland these past six months, this 23-year-old Craiga(...)

Luke Fitzgerald has played 663 minutes for Leinster in the Pro12 this season, 41.4% of the total 1,600. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

When measured by the number of minutes played, at least half a dozen of Leinster’s frontline players have not been playing for their province during (...)

Craig Gilroy dives over for Ulsters second score in their 26-10 win over Leinster at Ravenhill. Photograph: Inpho

Ulster 26 Leinster 10Ulster set up a third Irish derby in a row at home to Munster two weeks’ hence, in a match that could decide home advantage in th(...)

Sean O’Brien returns to the Leinster starting line-up for Sunday’s Champions Cup semi-final against Toulon. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster’s second row options have been further depleted by injury to Tom Denton. The Englishman’s bicep strain sees his place on the bench for Sun(...)

Jamie Heaslip captains Leinster in their Champions Cup quarter-final against Bath at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster welcome back all of their Ireland Six Nations winners as Matt O’Connor makes nine changes from the side which drew with Glasgow for Saturday’(...)

The Azzurri stand for the Italian national anthem. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

You have to admire Warren Gatland’s chutzpah. No doubt he rubs up some people the wrong way, but this, of course, is also part of the plan. Unveiling (...)

Jerry Flannery is enjoying being back at Munster. ‘I’m only in the door and I’m lucky that I trust the guys around me so much because I know them so well,’ he says. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Jerry Flannery loved being a player. Best job in the world. At 36 he could still be doing it but for the calf injuries that eventually forced him to r(...)

Brian and Norma Rohan with their children, Emily (11 months) and Julie (2),  on the family farm in Shanahoe, Co Laois. Brian’s father, Liam, died in a farm accident. Photograph: Pat Moore.

All that fresh air and physical activity means that farming is seen as a very healthy occupation. But, as the tragic death of an eight-year-old boy in(...)

 Brian O’Driscoll watches on from the sidelines as the All Blacks score a try through Ryan Crotty in the last minute of the game at the  Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland centre Brian O’Driscoll will not play in Leinster’s RaboDirect Pro12 clash against Scarlets at the RDS on Saturday night (7.15pm) after leavin(...)

 Left to right - Owen Farrell, Jamie Heaslip, Tom Youngs, Alex Cuthbert, Adam Jones (under jacket), Ben Youngs and Sam Warburton watch the final moments of the second Test from the bench. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire.

So, not entirely surprisingly, it’s come down to this. It’s been that kind of season, that kind of tour. Both sides now have an 80 minute shot at fore(...)