Darren Cave is set to provide midfield cover for Robbie Henshaw and Jared Payneat the World Cup. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

As has been the case with other World Cup squad selections, there was always going to be some risk-taking when Joe Schmidt and his coaches finalise(...)

Justin Tipuric is tackled by Ireland’s Iain Henderson on Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

On Friday I felt Wales required a bigger performance than Ireland. That certainly arrived and that Ireland couldn’t dictate as they did in Cardiff is (...)

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt faces a number of difficult decisions when it comes to selecting his squad for the World Cup. 2:54

Some celebrated outside backs are likely to miss out on the Ireland 31-man squad when it is submitted to the World Cup organisers by 5pm on Monday. No(...)

Ian Madigan could play at scrumhalf if necessary for Ireland.

Murphy’s Law – “whatever can go wrong, will” – is something Australia coach Michael Cheika is unlikely to take too seriously. While most teams (...)

Jordi Murphy would relish the chance to bury some of his boyhood backrow heroes at the Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

It’s more a challenge than a dilemma for Jordi Murphy to face the players he once looked up to when he was a teenager. More immediately to fight his w(...)

Seán O’Brien says Ireland’s World Cup camp is more intense than it was during the Six Nations. Photograph: Inpho

The suggestion of lazy summer days and Seán O’Brien shoots a glance across the room. “A day off, not a week,” he says, quickly crushing thoughts of re(...)

Stephen Ferris was arguably the most destructive flanker ever to play for Ireland. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The cruelty of it all reverberates when realising Stephen Ferris only turned 30 this month. Probably the most destructive flanker to play for Irela(...)

Ireland fullback Simon Zebo breaks free to score a try in the 61st-minute against Scotland in the Rugby World Cup warm-up game at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 8:14

This was a sloppier, less accurate Irish performance, but Scotland put up a more meaningful and exacting challenge than Wales a week previously, wh(...)

Irish captain Sean O’Brien presents the ball during Ireland’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, on Saturday.  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 8:14

Two warm-up wins with very close to 100 per cent set piece and eight tries scored (five from backs!) is a very happy return from the 34 players bloode(...)

Sean O’Brien is brought down by the Scottish defence at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

15 Simon Zebo Not flawless, but ran some excellent lines, none more so than for his try that he finished superbly and also very good aerially. Rating:(...)