Putting it on the line: Ireland’s Keith Wood powers over for a  try against England in their 2001 Six Nations match. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

It’s the big one, simple as. Ireland against England has a resonance, a sense of history and occasion which surpasses all other Irish fixtures. Be it (...)

 Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy with the Claret Jug after winning the 2014 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake.  Photo:  Owen Humphreys/PA

Having spent over 40 years logging the failures of dead certs and sure things, Vinny Fitzpatrick felt he’d become immune to sport’s capacity to spring(...)

Ireland  international wing Tommy Bowe attending the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of John Wilson “Jack” Kyle, former Ireland and Lions rugby player in Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, Belfast. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Irish rugby legends have paid tribute to the one considered the greatest of them all as they joined friends and family of the late Jack Kyle at a spec(...)

JUST another rugby team? Not exactly. For one thing, look at where they’re posing for their team photo: in a dark and dingy corner of Lansdowne Road, (...)

Rory McIlroy with Gillian Creevy, Cancer Fund for Children’s chief executive,  Caleb Overton (10) and Amy Uprichard (right) at the launch of Daisy Lodge, Cancer Fund for Children’s therapeutic short break centre in Newcastle, Co. Down. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA

The extent of Rory McIlroy’s youth is often lost in the analysis of his success. At Augusta National next April, the world’s No1 golfer will attempt (...)

Armagh and Tyrone players confront each other early on in last weekend’s qualifier clash at Omagh. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Presseye/Inpho

The authorities must condemn them. Managers can’t condone them. The media has to tut-tut away and decide that they’re the worst thing to happen since (...)

Australia’s Kurtley Beale slips as he takes a penalty that would have won his team the match while Lions players look on. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

No more than the viewers, down under and up above, Miles Harrison could hardly breathe, the tension of it all very nearly rendering Stuart Barnes inau(...)

Lions captain Willie John McBride (right) looks on as then leader of the opposition Edward Heath strokes lion cub “Fiji”, given to the Lions on their arrival at Heathrow after the famous (and infamous) tour to South Africa in 1974.

Willie John McBride stood in his underpants and surveyed the scene. The wreckage of his hotel lobby lay all around, with pieces of tables, bits of ch(...)

Paul Gallen of the New South Wales Blues and Nate Myles of the Queensland Maroons during a controversial incident in game one of the popular ARL State of Origin series at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Phtograph: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

The thought has occurred over the last three weeks while following the Lions around Australia, that rugby union is possibly a little too sanitised as (...)

Mike Phillips: Warren Gatland described the scrumhalf as “probably the most cocky, confident rugby player I have ever met in my life”. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

It’s happening again already. Mike Phillips is one of those players that, whether in his former days with the Ospreys, or Wales, you’d readily disl(...)