Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt hoping to find a successor to Brian O’Driscoll this autumn. Photograph: Dan Sheridan / Inpho

Ireland coach hints at Connacht centre as possible favourite to fill O’Driscoll’s boots

 Leinster’s Michael Bent did an  “outstanding job”  deputising for Mike Ross at short notice against Wasps. Photograph: Billy Stickland /  Inpho

Former Clermont player expects French side to be ‘very abrasive and very confrontational’

Connacht’s Robbie Henshaw and Kieran Marmion and Munster’s Stephen Archer are all named in the Ireland squad. Photograph: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Jared Payne among five uncapped players called up by Joe Schmidt for autumn Tests

 Munster outhalf Ian Keatley  looks up after kicking the match-winning drop-goal against Sale Sharks during the European  Champions Cup clash at the  AJ Bell Stadium in Salford, England. Photo:  Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Gerry Thornley: Emulating Ronan O’Gara a huge positive for Munster’s No 10

Darragh Fanning scores a try for Leinster as they come back to beat Wasps in their  European  Champions Cup clash at the RDS. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Leinster overcome a 20-8 deficit with a fine second-half performance inspired by captain Jamie Heaslip

Leinster’s Dominic Ryan goes over in the RDS yesterday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Heaslip proves a towering force as Matt O’Connor’s men dig deep to down Wasps

Dave Foley celebrates victory against Toulouse with teammates Damien Varley and Conor Murray in the  Heineken Cup quarter-final in April 2014. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Munster lock Dave Foley is eager to make his mark for both province and country

Leinster’s Ian Madigan and Munster’s Robin Copeland compete during the recent Guinness Pro12 clash. The stakes will be raised this weekend as the two sides face English teams in the European Champions Cup. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Munster, Leinster and Ulster face English teams in the new-look European Cup

Leinster’s Michael Bent scrums down against Munster’s Stephen Archer. Photograph: INPHO/Billy Stickland

Injury-hit province should have enough in tank to see off Premiership rivals

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