Ireland rugby captain Paul O’Connell and head coach Joe Schmidt walk out at the Aviva Stadium ahead of the final game   in the three-game  Guinness Series against Australia on Saturday. Photograph: Inpho

Let’s do “a Joe” on it here, for, in many ways, Ireland merely achieved what by rights should have been expected of them, especially if they are to ta(...)

Ireland fullback Rob Kearney is hoping to get more game-time against Georgia on Sunday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The IRFU have stemmed the tide. What could have been a flood of leading players departing for France has turned into a trickle. Johnny Sexton slipped (...)

Victor Matfield: one of the best lineout operators the world has ever seen. Photograph:Billy Stickland/Inpho

Two weeks ago I spoke of all things Bakkies Botha. Tomorrow he’s back, but before his arrival, we can feast on the brilliance contained within both nu(...)

Sean Cronin joins Mike Ross and Jack McGrath in an all-Leinster frontrow against South Africa on Saturday.

Seán Cronin believes Ireland will need to draw on fit-again tighthead prop Mike Ross “big-time” against a powerful South Africa side.Hooker Cronin ha(...)

Conor Murray: “Instead of carrying into a big man it’s about stepping, finding a soft-shoulder and being a bit smarter.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Conor Murray is doing a good impression of not being too unsettled that loosehead Cian Healy and backrow Sean O’Brien won’t be playing at the weekend (...)

Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip in action against Castres in European Rugby Champions Cup. Photograph: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

To again roll their sleeves up and come from behind reflects well on the undoubted spirit within the Leinster squad, and will also have given them ge(...)

Mike Ross of Leinster is tackled by  Munster’s Stephen Archer and Robin Copeland. The prop may yet be fit to face Castres this weekend. Photograph: James Crombie /  Inpho

Leinster will wait until later in the week to make a call on the fitness of prop Mike Ross and fullback Rob Kearney ahead of their European Champions (...)

 Wasps’ Christian Wade scores a a winger’s try despite the attention of Leinster’s Zane Kirchner and Darragh Fanning.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy / Inpho 2:07

Leinster 25 Wasps 20 Seán Cronin pounded into the Wasps 22, the hooker playing centre in the mould of Mathieu Bastareaud. The position from where insp(...)

Leinster captain Jamie Heaslip speaking to the press at UCD, Dublin, yesterday. Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

In weeks like these players like Jamie Heaslip talk about their positions and hold them steady. No wavering. Wasps visit will test many parts of th(...)

Leinster’s Jimmy Gopperth is tackled by Munster’s Andrew Smith and Paul O’Connell during the recent clash at the Aviva Stadium. ‘Choosing Gopperth over Madigan is a conservative route to go down, in my opinion.’ Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster have been so good for so long it’s only natural any bit of a wobble will make people wonder are they in trouble. Nothing causes supporters to(...)