Rory McIlroy signs autographs for fans at Royal County Down Golf Club, Co Down.  Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/©Inpho

Martin McGuinness and Rory McIlroy made quite the pair at Royal County Down, the 18 holes of dunes and sand where this year’s Irish Open will be pla(...)

Shane Warne, Darren Clarke and BBC presenter Stephen Watson share a joke after playing in the Irish Open Pro-Am at Royal Co Down. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images.

Stephen Watson managed to record a par and two spectators on the front nine. The face of BBC Sport Northern Ireland was persecuted by a misbehaving dr(...)

Shane Williams dives past Ireland’s Keith Earls to score a Welsh try during the 2011 Rugby World Cup quarter-final in New Zealand. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty.

Shane Williams is talking about endangered species in rugby union. His own kind. The little men. Craig Gilroy gets a mention. All six foot (183cm) and(...)

Ireland’s Conor Murray kicks to the corner for Robbie Henshaw;s try against England at the Aviva Stadium. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

So Steve Hansen believes we should be scoring more tries up here in the Six Nations. I have some sympathy for the All Black World Cup- winning coach. (...)

 Dylan Hartley: One of the few sportsmen who instil fear with a look. Photograph: Getty Images

Mike Tyson used to do it. Brian Cody still can. Dylan Hartley is one of the few sportsmen who instil fear with a look.You know he can’t hurt you but, (...)

Ulster head coach Neil Doak: After an impressive league win at home to Glasgow in the first game after he was appointed full time, Ulster’s performances and results have fallen off badly.  Photo: Matt Mackey/Inpho/Presseye

Rarely has one decision appeared to have had such an impact. Ulster were flying. They had backed up a first win on French soil the season before with(...)

Scrumhalf Will Genia at an Australia press conference in Killiney, Dublin. “The body feels good, the ankle feels good, I just need game time now.” Photograph: Inpho

Will Genia was the best scrumhalf in the world. A professional rugby player since the Queensland Reds pulled him and Quade Cooper from the under-19 wo(...)

Tommy Bowe in action during Ulster’s recent Pro12 victory over Edinburgh. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/Inpho.

Senior members in the Ulster squad including Tommy Bowe were consulted before Neil Doak was appointed coach in the wake of a provincial cleanout of p(...)

Luke Marshall at Kingspan Stadium, Belfast. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho/Presseye

Luke Marshall has had his problems. Concussion followed by concussion along with Gordon D’Arcy’s refusal to go quietly into the international wildern(...)

Of all the the emerging young players on the tour of Argentina, the one  who made the biggest impression on Joe Schmidt was flanker  Rhys Ruddock. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

It was a small, relatively throwaway remark but it was worth noting nonetheless. “This was my first tour,” Joe Schmidt reminded us, and you forget, fo(...)