Michael Kiernan attempts a drop goal over Mark Ring during Ireland-Wales Five Nations match at Cardiff Arms Park in 1987. Ireland won 15-11. Photograph: Simon Bruty/Allsport

Meetings between Ireland and Wales are akin to a two-horse race, but at times over the last two or three decades it’s been easier to pick the winner o(...)

Ireland captain Rory Best at squad training. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Seán O’Brien has emerged as a significant doubt for Ireland’s opening defence of their RBS Six Nations title against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. The(...)

CJ Stander and Stuart McCloskey on their way  to an Ireland training session  at Carton House  on Wednesday. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ireland’s rookie centre Stuart McCloskey can cope with Wales’ ‘Warrenball’ tactics if handed his Test debut in Sunday’s Six Nations opener against Wal(...)

 Ireland’s Johnny Sexton during the Captain’s Run at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on Friday. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

Disaster. Johnny Sexton’s injury timeline, according to the Ireland management, is that the 30 year old felt tightness in his groin on Friday after tr(...)

Simon Easterby has warned Ireland must beware of a rejuvenated Louis Picamoles in Sunday’s Rugby World Cup Pool D encounter at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: Getty

Ireland must beware Louis Picamoles’ broadened horizons in Sunday’s pivotal World Cup clash with France, according to Simon Easterby. Forwards coach (...)

Robbie Henshaw is in line to make his World Cup debut in the Pool D game against Italy on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Akin to other head coaches who have a clear selection strategy in this World Cup, although not all, Joe Schmidt is expected to largely revert to th(...)

Cian Healy being put through his paces at the Ireland squad’s training session at Surrey Sports Park, Guidford, Surrey.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The old maxim that you wouldn’t want to have a limp around here certainly applies to the Irish squad. While the news of Rob Kearney’s strained glute (...)

Simon Easterby: ‘The defence has to be watertight. That has been a real focus.’ Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

True to the Joe Schmidt script, Simon Easterby is not one to look beyond the next match. Nor is he inclined to look back on the World Cup campaign of (...)

England loosehead prop Joe Marler is forced out of the scrum during the World Cup warm-up game against Ireland at Twickenham. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

It’s probably fair to suggest that both Ireland’s Joe Schmidt and his England counterpart Stuart Lancaster will be disappointed when they review the f(...)

Paul O’Connell  in Twickenham: “For me when you play England, you always think of the size of the players.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

This almost feels a little like the start of the World Cup. It’s Twickenham, all the squads have been named and England kick off the global, four-year(...)