Try scorer Sean O’Brien brought badly needed ballast in the ball-carrying. Photograph: Reuters 9:27

After the most unforgettable finale ever to a relatively forgettable tournament, the question is whether the unique circumstances of last Saturday’s s(...)

Ireland players line up for the anthems ahead of the Six Nations international rugby union match between Scotland and Ireland - Six have been selected for our Six Nations team of the tournament. Photograph: Ian  MacNicol/Getty Images 9:27

15 Rob Kearney (Ireland):Leigh Halfpenny’s goal-kicking could give him the nod again. Stuart Hogg was electric and carried for 100 more metres. But Ke(...)

Paul O’Connell makes a flying tackle on Scotland’s Stuart Hogg. It almost goes without saying that the captain was immense leading from the front in his inimitable. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho 9:27

The mind, and specifically the mindset of a team, is a curious thing indeed. It is extremely hard to imagine Ireland would have played with such posit(...)

Flanker Seán O’Brien’s outstretched arm proves just about long enough to score Ireland’s crucial fourth try against Scotland. Photograph: Lee smith/Reuters. 9:27

The old championship’s 121st edition will not go down in history as its best, not when so much of the ‘samey’ first four weeks was so forgettable. But(...)

Johnny Sexton should have a big game against Scotland after the disappointment in Cardiff. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho 2:02

A unique, staggered, three-way tussle for the title has ensured that whatever the Six Nations has lacked in quality it has atoned for with the gran(...)

From left: Denis Leamy, Ronan O’Gara, David Wallace, Simon Easterby, Gordon D’Arcy, Girvan Dempsey, Denis Hickie and Shane Horgan on St Patrick’s Day 2007 as Ireland took on Italy in Stadio Olimpico. Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Grand Slams are the holy grail, all the more so when a country has only won two of them in 120 years of trying. But championship titles aren’t to be s(...)

Ireland squad in training at Carton House. Joe Schmidt has decided to “freshen” up the team for Scotland with Simon Zebo missing out. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho 3:12

Tricky isn’t the half of it. Sandwiched between the other two games, with a possible target set by Wales in Rome before then striving to set a target (...)

Cian Healy: set to win first start of this season’s Six Nation’s in Saturday’s meeting with Scotland at Murrayfield. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Cian Healy and Luke Fitzgerald appear to be in line for their first starts of this season’s Six Nations when Joe Schmidt announces the Irish starting (...)

Eoin Reddan puts in a box kick against Wales.  The scrumhalf says the only focus this week is beating Scotland. Photograph:  Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Sandwiched between the other two games, Saturday’s grand finale to the 2015 Six Nations looks particularly complicated for Ireland. Not alone have the(...)

Ireland’s Cian Healy is tackled by Aaron Jarvis of Wales at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. Greg Feek has been stressing that Cian Healy has been “chomping at the bit”. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Irish forwards coach Simon Easterby yesterday dropped the broadest of hints that the Irish starting XV and replacements for the Six Nations’ finale a(...)