Ulster Rugby squad training at Kingspan Stadium, Belfast, ahead of their Pro12 semi-final against Glasgow at Scotstoun. Photograph: Brian Little/Inpho.

What makes Ulster a lesser proposition than last season or when they reached the 2012 European Cup final is the reduction of power forwards. Johann M(...)

Kingspan Stadium, Belfast: would prove an intimidating home venue for Ulster in the final should they overcome Glasgow this weekend. Photograph: William Cherry/Presseye/Inpho

Glasgow eventually tore Ulster asunder last Saturday. The tries needed to secure a home semi-final demanded it. Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell delivered(...)

Tom Daly: Leinster academy player was sent by club to participate in Ireland’s Sevens programme but he said if given a choice, ‘I would have went for it’. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Qualification for the Olympic Games in Rio next year, while possible, remains a highly unlikely long shot. Regardless, a combination of former profes(...)

Connacht coach Pat Lam had set his sights on a top-six finish from very start. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Guinness Pro12 Connacht v Ospreys Sportsground, Galway, 3pm Live S4C Presume for a moment that Connacht beat the Ospreys – a far superior (...)

Ian Humphreys will start at outhalf for Ulster in their game away to Glasgow. Photo: Ian MacNicol/Inpho/Presseye

The draw with Munster in Belfast appears to have made up Neil Doak’s mind. Sure, that sharp cut-out pass by Paddy Jackson and touchline conversion (...)

Colm O’Shea starts beside Noel Reid at centre in Matt O’Connor’s side’s final Pro12 match. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Pick a low point. The two Munster defeats or the Dragons maybe. But no. It has to be last Friday at the RDS. Grim doesn’t cover it.Even those attendi(...)

Ian Madigan starts at outhalf for Leinster’s final Pro 12 game of the season away at Edinburgh. Photograph: Inpho

With Ian Keatley and Paddy Jackson involved in the upcoming Pro 12 play-offs, Ian Madigan gets a rare run at outhalf against Edinburgh in Murrayfield (...)

Dublin’s Rory O’Carroll is a doubt for his side’s Leinster football quarter-final on May 31st while hurler Paul Ryan has criticised the new penalty system introduced at Congress. Photograph: Sportsfile

Rory O’Carroll is a doubt for Dublin’s Leinster SFC quarter-final on May 31st against the winners of Saturday’s Offaly versus Longford ma(...)

Dublin fullback Rory O’Carroll would not chance playing on if he were to suffer another head injury. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

One more concussion and Dublin full back Rory O’Carroll could retire. The 25-year-old made this assertion despite only sustaining a single head tra(...)

Grace Davitt and Lynne Cantwell after Ireland’s remarkable defeat of the All Blacks in the 2014 World Cup. Photograph: Inpho 1:29

From there to here is some journey. The Women’s Rugby World Cup comes to Belfast via Dublin in 2017. Even slipping into the recent past, February 2(...)