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(...)

Jackie Shiels return to midfield alongside Jenny Murphy which should improve the distribution out wide against Wales. Photograph: Inpho

Forget about winning a still-possible second Six Nations title in three seasons for a moment. This should be viewed as leg two of the Triple Crown. T(...)

Ireland flanker Paula Fitzpatrick has been in outstanding form in the Six Nations campaign. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Last game in Ashbourne it seems. The IRFU, indicating that their senior women have outgrown this always welcoming rugby ground (every other Six Nat(...)

 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 (...)

Tania Rosser scores a fine individual try for Ireland against Kazakhstan. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Veteran Ireland scrumhalf Tania Rosser has no intention of retiring. The 36 year old returned from four years in the international wilderness to play (...)

 Elodie Guiglion of France dives to score against Ireland  in the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 3rd/4th Place Playoff at Stade Jean-Bouin  in Paris. Photograph:  Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images

France 25 Ireland 18So, Fiona Coghlan’s Ireland finish fourth at the World Cup and, like other Irish heroines before them, fall agonisingly short of t(...)

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(...)

Ireland head coach Philip Doyle after the World Cup semi-final defeat by England at Stade Jean Bouin in Paris. Doyle will be leaving his role after Sunday’s third-place play-off.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

It’s not over but last night’s 40-7 defeat to a ruthless England side signals the beginning of the end. Come Sunday evening Philip Doyle breaks off hi(...)

Nora Stapleton returns at outhalf for Ireland’s Women’s World Cup semi-final against England in Paris on Wednesday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland coach Philip Doyle has named the same starting XV that beat New Zealand for Wednesday’s Women’s World Cup semi-final against England in Paris (...)

Sharon Lynch scores Ireland’s  first  try. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland 40 Kazakhstan 5: Now every single player has contributed at the World Cup. And a little piece of history can now be confirmed: Ireland are int(...)