Keith Earls at a Munster squad training session at University of Limerick, Limerick in October. The winger has never played under Joe Schmidt for Ireland. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Keith Earls’ international injury nightmare could be about to come to an end with the Munster winger on track for a January return which could leave (...)

Ireland’s Rob Kearney tackles Israel Folau during Saturday’s international rugby match against Australia at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters 5:39

On Friday I noted the key to Ireland’s success was high-tempo, low-error rugby. This of course was partly true, especially as Ireland rattled up 17 qu(...)

Rob Kearney 7/10 - Excelled, but this could have been his greatest game for Ireland. Missed a couple of tackles, understandably steered clear of aerial duels with Israel Folau and hit the post with a drop at goal.

Rob Kearney 7/10Excelled, but this could have been his greatest game for Ireland.Missed a couple of tackles, understandably steered clear of aerial du(...)

 Australia’s Matt Toomua and Robbie Henshaw of Ireland collide at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie / Inpho 5:39

Joe Schmidt’s “ruthless” selection policy has forced Ireland to shed mental weaknesses that were costing victories, according to Rory Best. Hooker Be(...)

 Ireland’s Paul O’Connell charges into   Luke Jones of Australia at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan / Inpho

Paul O’Connell, following an astonishing performance from the 35 year old, is asked whether Ireland would have lost this match to the Wallabies 12 mo(...)

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt ahead of the Australia match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt was taken to hospital after the 26-23 win over Australia with a suspected bout of a appendicitis. The Kiwi was unable to att(...)

Israel Folau training with Wallabies in Donnybrook, Dublin. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

These are exciting times. Back-to-back wins against two of the Southern Hemisphere big three happen about as regularly as Roy Keane avoids a press (...)

Stuart Olding scores Ireland’s final try in an emphatic win over Georgia at the Aviva Stadium. The home side had to show patience but they eventually broke their determined opponents in a high-scoring second half. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 5:37

Job done. There were inaccuracies and missed chances galore in a first half which yielded only three Ian Madigan penalties; the 40 points that followe(...)

Ireland prop forward Dave Kilcoyne tries to burst through the Georgia defence in yesterday’s Test match at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan sheridan/Inpho 5:37

There was just a little queasiness around the place at half-time here, the faintest tick-tock of discomfort at the tries Ireland hadn’t scored. They (...)

 Ireland’s Dave Foley charges at the Georgia attack at the Aviva Stadium.  Photograph: Colm O’Neill / Inpho 5:37

David Foley enjoyed a dream debut for Ireland as he was named man of the match in a 49-7 victory over Georgia in Dublin, but the Munster lock believes(...)