France’s  head coach Guy Noves “In modern rugby, there is no starter or replacements. It’s more of a relay. It’s not a sanction.”  Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Six changes sounds a bit like the French wielding the guillotine in time-honoured fashion, or at any rate like Philippe Saint-Andre doing his Mr Tink(...)

Rob Kearney and Dave Kearney challenge for the high ball with with Sébastien Tillous-Borde of France during the   Rugby World Cup Group D at Millennium Stadium in  Cardiff. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt was late with yesterday’s lunchtime announcement of the Irish side to face France, because he was still finalising it. In the event, th(...)

Flanker Seán O’Brien is expected to return to the Ireland team against France having recovered from a hamstring injury. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The consequences of last Sunday’s Celtic Demolition Derby has left Joe Schmidt’s team selection in a state of flux. Ireland were obliged to make 17(...)

Wexford native Tadhg Furlong has won all his four Ireland caps from the replacements bench. Photograph: AFP.

The likelihood is that Tadhg Furlong will win his fifth cap on Saturday in Paris and, like his previous four, it will be off the bench. His fourth, l(...)

Keith Earls sat out Ireland’s training session at carton House on Tuesday. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

The Ireland squad limited themselves to a run-out of medium intensity for about 45 minutes amid the snow flurries at their Carton House base yesterday(...)

Paul O’Connell celebrates scoring a try against Wales in 2002. Photograph: Inpho

Alas and alack, there will be no Indian Summer on the Côte d’Azur. Regrets, he’ll have a few, right until the anti-climactic end and that is indeed a (...)

 Jonathan Sexton kicks the penalty to  ensure a draw at the  Aviva Stadium. In previous years,  the home team would have  gone for a try to keep Triple Crown and Grand Slam hopes alive. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Time was when a team which was losing by three points with five minutes to go – especially a game involving two of the four ‘Home Unions’ – would have(...)

Gonzalo Garcia of Italy attempts to tackle Jonathan Danty of France during the Six Nations curtain-raiser at Stade de France. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

During the World Cup, Joe Schmidt was altogether more concerned about the threat posed by Argentina than had been the case against France a week previ(...)

Conor Murray tries  to charge down Rhys Priestland’s attempt at  a late drop goal at the Aviva Stadium.Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Bruised, battered but unbeaten, the Irish squad will spend much of the next two days recovering from their exertions against Wales at the outset of a (...)

Ireland scrumhalf Conor Murray  crashes through the tackle from Justin Tipuric of Wales to score the opening try during the RBS Six Nations match  at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ireland 16 Wales 16 Ireland and Wales don’t do dull, and don’t do predictable, and so it continued in this entertaining Six Nations opener at the A(...)