Joe Schmidt is bidding to take this Irish team to an unprecedented third successive Six Nations title.

Coach: Joe Schmidt Since taking over in 2013, New Zealander Schmidt has made himself into somewhat of a Six Nations specialist, leading Ireland to (...)

Keith Earls is reported to be joining Saracens from Munster. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland and Munster back Keith Earls is on the verge of completing a move to English Premiership leaders Saracens, according to reports in the Irish I(...)

 Rory Best  runs at Simone Favaro of Italy during the 2015 Rugby World Cup. “To now captain Ireland going into the Six Nations is a massive thing for me and my family.” Photograph:  Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Spare a thought for Rory Best. There is probably no harder task than to succeed Paul O’Connell as captain, who had effectively succeeded Brian O’Drisc(...)

Rory Best: Candidacy will not have been harmed by reports of his half-time rallying call which contributed to Ulster’s comeback from 23-0 down to win in Oyannax . Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Rory Best is the odds-on favourite to be named as the next captain of the Irish rugby team when Joe Schmidt announces a squad of around 36 or 37 playe(...)

Seán O’Brien: “You don’t want to be doing too much yapping towards the backs”

Joe Schmidt will announce an extended Ireland squad for the Six Nations Championship on Wednesday and will reveal the player to take over the captain(...)

Ulster’s Ian Humphreys: “You have to fight that bit harder for recognition and respect, not in a bad way, but you know you are on your own.” Photograph: Darren Griffiths/Presseye/Inpho

The last decade has shown that club loyalty in rugby is only as strong as the contract. The business of sport has ensured that. Leaving, as Johnny Se(...)

Ulster’s Jared Payne looks set to be fit for selection for the Six Nations while Iain Henderson is targeting the summer test series with South Africa. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ulster’s decision to register Jared Payne with EPC rugby suggests that the Ireland international could be in line to return to competitive rugby befor(...)

Ian Madigan is 26 now and, while his skill-set has never been in doubt,  he just needs to play consistently at Number 10.

This column being a review of 2015, it proved a year when Ian Madigan spent most of that time wedged between a rock and a hard place. I felt he coped(...)

Luke Marshall is in middle of contract negotiations with Ulster. Photograph: William Cherry/Presseye/Inpho

One of the many talking points from last Friday’s epic 38-0 tanking of Toulouse was the way Ulster’s midfield partnership of rising star Stuart McClos(...)

Rory Best returns to lead Les Kiss’s Ulster against Toulouse. Photograph: Inpho

Alan O’Connor will make just his 15th appearance for Ulster after being named in the secondrow alongside Franco van der Merwe for Friday night’s Champ(...)