Conor Murray: “You do have a game plan and, under any coach, there’s a game plan that you try and follow it as best you can.” Photograph: Inpho

The shadow of Joe Schmidt casts wide over the Ireland team but the Kiwi coach does not want his players to become automatons. Nor is the coach a black(...)

Rob Kearney: A couple of loose kicks aside he was the personification of calm collection under the high ball and that infuses confidence in those around you. Rating: 7

15 Rob KearneyA couple of loose kicks aside he was the personification of calm collection under the high ball and that infuses confidence in those aro(...)

Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw  takes a high ball despite the attempts of England’s   Alex Goode to score a try during the Six Nations match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images 6:46

Ireland 19 England 9A strangely comprehensive dismissal of England, to end a four game losing streak dating back to 2011, this will be remembered as t(...)

On your marks: Paul O’Connell will captain Ireland in their decisive tie against England in the Six Nations. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Once again the stakes are huge. Once again the meeting of last year’s top two finds both countries unbeaten. So come the full-time whistle the winners(...)

Simon Zebo has had few chances to play his attacking, running game but insists he is more than happy to be part of a winning Ireland side. (Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan) 3:06

Simon Zebo never woke up in the morning having dreamed of the kick and chase game. He never fantasised about competing for a high ball and slapping it(...)

Paul O’Connell and his team-mates had the character and fitness levels to withstand the charge of the French bench in the second half. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Great AK was right; ‘no amount of analytical physics can open a door’ but in the end energy, team spirit and tactical nous can close many a French(...)

RBS 6 Nations Championship, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 14/2/2015Ireland vs France Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

It was all we’ve come to expect from modern-day Test rugby, brutally physical, suffocatingly tight, as taut as a wire and absorbing until the very fin(...)

Johnny Sexton was named man of the match in Ireland’s 18-11 Six nations win over France at the Aviva Stadium.  (Photograph: REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton)

Ireland player ratingsRob Kearney 7Made nine carries for 53 metres. A jarring, wrap tackle on Scott Spedding earned an important 24th minute penalty a(...)

 Ben Te’o gets a long overdue fourth appearance for Leinster against the Dragons on Sunday, having so far only played 87 minutes of rugby union. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

A non-televised Pro 12 game in Dublin sneaks under the radar but there’s plenty of external interest in those involved.There are rumours that Wallab(...)

Players push in a scrum during the Six Nations  match between Italy and Ireland at the Olympic Stadium in Rome. Photograph: Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images

I try not to speak negatively about rugby. It has given me so much and I have seen it give so generously to others.There is a saying, that your best m(...)