Steve Walsh will take charge of Ireland’s Six Nations match against Wales in Cardiff. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Ireland’s 2015 Six Nations Championship matches will be refereed by a couple of Frenchmen, an Englishman, a South African and a New Zealander, who re(...)

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 (...)

The ERC press release accompanying the decision to suspend Jared Payne for the tackle against Alex Goode of Saracens that resulted in the Ulster fullback’s red card came with the wording that Payne  had been red-carded for “an alleged dangerous charge (sic)”, rather than tackling, tapping, pushing or pulling. This was, effectively, a new one. Photograph: Brian Little/Inpho/Presseye

Here’s a question. Supposing Jared Payne and Alex Goode made the exact same runs as when they collided last Saturday week in Ravenhill, which r(...)

Referee Nigel Owens looks on during a TMO decision in the second half of the Ireland v New Zealand clash that ruled out an Israel Dagg try. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

If you wanted an example of a real farce, you’d have found one on your television last Saturday as Ulster were playing Zebre away. And no, I’m not tal(...)

Referee Steve Walsh gives George Pisi a yellow card in the 39th minute of Saturday’s game against Ireland at the Aviva stadium. Photograph:  Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Samoa centre George Pisi has been cited over his tip tackle on Tommy Bowe during last Saturday’s international against Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.Th(...)

Seán O’Brien scores Ireland’s second try against Samoa at the Aviva on Saturday in what was yet another powerhouse performance from the openside flanker. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Seán O’Brien is about the best forward in the northern hemisphere and is certainly the best forward we have at the breakdown. His technique in this ar(...)

 Brian O’Driscoll  and Devin Toner congratulate new Ireland team-mate Jack McGrath on a good performance in a scrum against Samoa. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho.

Flashes of entertainment came in many guises Saturday night. But they were all too brief. Besides witnessing a paper air plane that glided from the t(...)

Ireland’s Peter O’Mahony jumps to win a high ball in the early stages of the match against Samoa on Saturday in which the home side, despite a patchy 

performance, emerged victorious. 

Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Ireland 40 Samoa 9: Ireland coach Joe Schmidt agreed with the analogy that the side had spent the last two weeks cramming for their first exam under h(...)

Jamie Heaslip, Brian O’Driscoll and Rory Best among the rest of the Irish squad at the Aviva Stadium on Friday. Photogrtaph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

A new day dawns for Irish rugby. Fittingly, a 40,000-plus crowd and a tea-time kick-off under lights gives this opener to the Joe Schmidt era a sense (...)

Outhalf Johnny Sexton looks on during yesterday’s Ireland squad session at  Carton House in Co Kildare. Sexton may also sit out Saturday’s Test against Samoa. Billy Stickland/Inpho

Joe Schmidt’s plans for his first assignment as Ireland coach against Samoa in the opening match of the Guinness Series at the Aviva Stadium this S(...)