Johnny Sexton: He remains the most important figure in Irish rugby. If he stays fit, if he rediscovers his form, he will make things happen. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Rugby is an odd profession. You only get 80 minutes each week to prove your worth with the rest of the time dominated by recovery and preparation. Th(...)

Ian Madigan is 26 now and, while his skill-set has never been in doubt,  he just needs to play consistently at Number 10.

This column being a review of 2015, it proved a year when Ian Madigan spent most of that time wedged between a rock and a hard place. I felt he coped(...)

Leinster centre Garry Ringrose makes the break for Isa Nacewa’s early try in the Guinness Pro12 game at Thomond park. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

We will get to the enduring brilliance of Seánie O’Brien but this story must begin at the weaving feet of Garry Ringrose. Andrew Conway might have (...)

Johnny Sexton tackles Ma’a Nonu during Leinster’s Champions Cup defeat to Toulon at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster 16 Toulon 20 The other week Leinster had a bad time. Thrashed about on the French Riviera, a mere six days later they morphed into enforcers(...)

 Rob Kearney scores against the All Blacks: “It’s very hard to find a weakness but they are beatable. Ireland players know this now.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

So the million dollar question: should Ireland coach an offloading policy at this World Cup? I don’t think you can. You are either intuitively good(...)

Ireland fullback Simon Zebo is tackled during the World Cup warm-up game against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:   Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland 28 Scotland 22 Another win then surrounded by more positives than negatives. “The real positive is we can report a clean bill of health,” said(...)

Donnacha Ryan in action during the Ireland squad’s training session at Carton House, Kildare yesterday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Iinpho

Donnacha Ryan, the nutcracker, what do we really know of him? A man from Nenagh hurling stock. A man who broke the concrete exterior of the Munster(...)

Limerick’s Barry Hennessy: will start in goal against Clare at Semple Stadium on Sunday. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Limerick hurling manager TJ Ryan has named three debutants in his team to take on Clare in Sunday’s opening fixture of this year’s Munster hurling (...)

Shane Dooley inspired Offaly’s win over Limerick. Photograph: Inpho

Limerick 0-21 Offaly 1-21Shane Dooley inspired Offaly to yet another win over Limerick as his side caused a big upset at the Gaelic Grounds.The game h(...)

Limerick 4-16 Wexford 3-18Patience paid off handsomely for Limerick as substitute Seanie O’Brien struck over the winning point one minute into additio(...)