Simon Zebo is tackled by Scotland’s Seán Lamont during their World Cup Warm-Up match atthe  Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photograph: Inpho

Devin Toner, Paul O’Connell, Iain Henderson, Seán O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip are currently my starting 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 against France on October 11th.(...)

Simon Zebo is the one surprise in an otherwise anticipated selection with Dave Kearney on the wing. Photograph: Inpho

If the stakes weren’t high in any case for an Anglo-Irish sporting set-to, the need to avoid a second successive defeat before the World Cup kicks off(...)

Simon Zebo has been named by Joe Schmidt at full-back to play against England in Ireland’s Rugby World Cup warm-up match this Saturday. Photo: Billy Stickland/INPHO 3:00

Simon Zebo gets the opportunity to prepare to become Ireland’s first choice fullback at Twickenham this Saturday. “Rob Kearney has a bruise on his kne(...)

Coach Joe Schmidt will confirm team selection at lunchtime on Thursday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt is expected to send over a strong Irish side for Saturday’s last of four warm-up games before the World Cup, against the hosts, England(...)

Ireland’s Simon Zebo rides the tackle to break free and score a try. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

There will be more than Munster fans quietly pleased for Simon Zebo. What he represents and often delivers feeds into the better instincts of those(...)

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(...)

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(...)

Tadhg Furlong and Cian Healy taking part in Ireland’s squad session at Carton House. Furlong is expected to make his debut off the bench while Healy is nearing  full fitness. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 7:17

While tomorrow’s Irish line-up looks more familiar, opportunity again knocks for a chosen few against an equally more familiar and potent Wales. And (...)

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 (...)

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(...)