Tom Tierney talking to the Irish backs during the captain’s run recently. The Grand Slam may have slipped out of reach but a second Six Nations in three years is within touching distance. Photograph: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Let’s briefly revisit the French visit to Ashbourne in February. Not to highlight the floodlight failure again but to reveal its positive impact.Unbek(...)

Ireland’s Sophie Spence. “You can only get better if you are playing at that level against international sides.” Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

There is a plan. What it is will be revealed in due course but neither Ireland coach Tom Tierney nor Sophie Spence envisage Sunday’s Six Nations titl(...)

Wales 0 Ireland 20Ireland put themselves firmly into Women’s Six Nations title contention as they ground out an ultimately comfortable win to end Wale(...)

Just five years after taking up the game Sophie Spence was a member of Ireland’s Grand-Slam winning team. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

It has, to say the least, been an eventful start to the Six Nations campaign for Ireland. The team opened with a comprehensive 30-5 win away to Ital(...)

Ireland’s Alison Miller and Jenny Murphy celebrate the Women’s Six Nations Championship victory over England at   Ashbourne RFC. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland Women 11 England Women 8Twenty two years playing England’s women, the first ever victory came in 2013. The second came last night. Undoubtedl(...)

 Ireland’s Jenny Murphy and Alison Miller are dejected after defeat to France. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland 5 France 10 “You can’t charge people €10 to stand in the rain for an hour with their children,” said one of the 2,100 crowd. “This is Te(...)

 Ireland’s Paula Fitzpatrick on the attackin Florence.  Photograph: Ivan Marianelli / Inpho

Italy 5 Ireland 30Brand new coaching ticket and utter change to their core leadership but business as usual for Ireland. They backed up last August’s (...)

Ireland’s Siobhán Fleming, seen here scoring against Kazakhstan, will start against France on Sunday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan / Inpho

Jenny Murphy has recovered from a knee injury to replace Ireland’s Lynne Cantwell ahead of Sunday’s Women’s World Cup third-place play off against Fra(...)

A despondent Ireland  squad  after the defeat to England in Paris. Photograph: Dan Sheridan / Inpho

It’s common enough for coaches, of multiple sporting persuasions, to advise their players during major tournaments to avoid the Twitter machine becau(...)

Lock Sophie Spence never gave up the fight in the torrid IRB Women’s World Cup semi-final defeat to England at Stade Jean Bouin in Paris. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Finding Sophie Spence. it happened over three years ago.“In fairness to Goose (Philip Doyle, Ireland’s coach for another 24 hours), ” explains Ireland(...)