Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Kilkenny manager reiterates faith in the collective ahead of All-Ireland hurling final

Connacht will host Toulouse on the opening weekend of the Champions Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster first in action of Irish sides, Ulster and Munster travel to France

Ireland’s Rob Heffernan will be striding out in the men’s 50km in Rio. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Yes, that’s race walking we’re talking about, not silly walking

The X-Park BMX venue in Deodoro in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Getty Images

Forget the chopper, it’s time to get the bikes in the air

Spain's Ona Carbonell and Gemma Mengual compete in the Duets Free Routine preliminaries during the synchronised swimming event at the Maria Lenk Aquatics at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on August 14, 2016.  / AFP PHOTO / Martin BUREAUMARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

Yes, there is more to this sport than just floating upside down like a dead goldfish

Jack Conan will captain Leinster in Navan.

Leo Cullen’s side will take on Ulster in Navan on Saturday

 Rugby in the water. Photograph: Laszlo Balogh/Reuters

It’s the team game that ultimately means pooling your resources

China’s men’s training at the velodrome in Rio. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters

Secret to the velodrome sprint? Moving at a snail’s pace

Japan’s Koki Niwa hits a shot against China’s Zhang Jike (left) in their men’s singles quarter-final table tennis during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Photograph: Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty Images

No need to put a spin on it - just don’t callit ping pong

 Germany’s Sven Maresch  and Sergiu Toma  of United Arab Emirates compete in the Men’s 81kg elimination rounds at the Olympics in Rio. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters

Long road to a black belt for those who follow Kano’s ‘gentle way’

Perfect 10 no longer possible but graceful entertainers still well up to the mark

‘No, lightweights are not just people who dabble in rowing, more as a pastime'

Anthony Foley: happy  that Munster will operate from one training base now, the University of Limerick. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Head coach believes collective experience of new coaching team will prove a big asset

Munster scrum coach Jerry Flannery with attack/skills coach Felix Jones at a squad session at UL. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former fullback has embraced his new coaching role with the usual enthusiasm

Keith Earls tackles Cian Bohane during Munster squad training at University of Limerick yesterday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

'The most important thing is to have Munster guys helping drive the Munster culture'

James McCarthy: his absence would weaken a Dublin defence already without Rory O’Carroll and Jack McCaffrey. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former club team-mate says Rory Gallagher will have detailed plans to stymie champions

Kerry’s Killian Young in action against Clare during last Sunday’s quarter-final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kerry stalwart facing another month of training before next outing in semi-final

ITipperary hurler John O’Dwyer and and Kerry footballer Killian Young at the officially launch in Croke Park of the 21st annual Asian Gaelic Games, sponsored again this year by Fexco. Photograph: Sportsfile

This year 65 teams representing 20 clubs from 18 countries, with about 800 participants in total, will play 200 matches

Clare’s Podge Collins is surrounded by Kerry players during the  All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at  Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Clare have no option but to go home and milk cows after chastening defeat in Croker

Irish amateurs Leona Maguire and Olivia Mehaffey will compete at Woburn in this week’s Women’s British Open. Photo: Getty Images

Two Irish women will be contesting the Women’s British Open at Woburn this week

 Dublin  footballer Philly McMahon  at an AIG Insurance launch at Portmarnock beach. “James is a massive player for us, both going forward and defensively.”  Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Impressive defender’s return a big fillip for Dublin in advance of football quarter-final

Galway’s Damien Comer  at  the announce of EirGrid as the official GAA timing sponsor. The Tribesman toppled Mayo and, subsequently, claimed a first county title since 2008 after a Connacht final replay victory over Roscommon. The reward is a trip to Croke Park on Sunday where they face Tipperary Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Disparaging remarks about Tribesmen just made them work harder to reach goal

 Team Sky rider Chris Froome on the podium. Photograph: REUTERS/Juan Medina

Eurosport pair prove the value of having disparate personalities working in tandem

Niamh Buffini is a fifth dan Master in WTF Taekwondo, the only female one in Ireland and also the youngest fifth dan in the country. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Paralympics Ireland’s appointee is one of a kind in martial arts

Rena McCarron Rooney won a silver medal at the European Para table tennis championships in 2015. Photograph: Jeff Crow/Inpho

Not letting disabilities getting in the way of competing at the highest level in table tennis

Connacht begin the defence of their Pro 12 title at home to Glasgow Warriors. Photograpg: Getty

Leinster host Treviso, Ulster face the Dragons and Munster travel to Scarlets in first round

Ireland captain David Harte: Photograph: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Fulton names 16-man squad for Rio Games, with David Harte captaining the side

Seamus Power will join Padraig Harrington and Leona Maguire at the Olympics in Rio. Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Stephanie Meadow misses out but has been placed on the reserves list

The Irish Paralympic Team at the announcement of the Irish Paralympic Team for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games at City Hall in Dublin. Photo: Sportsfile

Champions Smyth and McKillop lead the team aiming to secure eight medals

Ciara Staunton has competed in athletics, swimming and wheelchair rugby, but her Paralympics ambitions are directed at handcycling

For handcyclist Ciara Staunton, taking part isn’t enough, she wants to win

Louis Picamoles and Johnny Sexton wil meet again when Leinster take on Nortahmpton in Pool 4 of the Champions Cup. Photograph:   Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

Leinster and Ulster both face two French sides in pool stages

Ieuan Evans and Dimitri Yachvilli make the pool draws for the 2016-2017 EPCR European Rugby Champions Cup & European Rugby Challenge Cup. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Meanwhile there were tough draws for Leinster, Ulster and Connacht in Neuchatel

Ireland number eight  Max Deegan is tackled by England’s Jack Singleton during the  World Rugby U20 Championship Final at AJ Bell Stadium in Salford, Manchester. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Number eight rewarded for series of big performances at tournament

Shane Daly scores Ireland’s second try during the World Rugby Under-20 Championship Final against England at the  AJ Bell Stadium in Salford, Manchester. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Outhalf Harry Mallinder stars as host nation claim title for a third time in Manchester

Nigel Carolan: “The synergy in the group feels like it’s a club team or a school team; they’re buddies, they work hard for each other.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Nigel Carolan says reaching World Championship final down to interaction of players

Hooker Adam McBurney has been one of Ireland’s standout players during the  World Rugby U20 Championship. Photograph: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Nigel Carolan’s side looking for one last push in bid for World U20 Championship

Max Deegan of Ireland scores a try for Ireland against New Zealand at the Under-20 World Championships in Manchester. Photo: Dave Howarth/Inpho

Number eight has been in outstanding form as Ireland reached final of Under-20 World Championship

Ireland Under-20s make their way out to the field for their semi-final victory. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

John O’Sullivan looks back at the Irish Under-19 and Under-21 teams of 1998 and 2004

Terry Kennedy, son of former Ireland wing Terry. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kiernan, Saunders and Kennedy – sons of the fathers answer Ireland’s call

Terry Kennedy: he will be one of the new faces that will feature for Ireland U-20 against Georgia. Photograph: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Just two players from side that dismantled New Zealand will start

Ireland celebrate their victory over New Zealand during the Under 20’s Rugby Union World Cup match at the City Academy Stadium, Manchester. Photograph: PA

The 23 on Ireland duty in the famous 33-34 victory over New Zealand in the Under-20 World Championship

Joe Schmidt has been linked with the head coach role at the Highlanders. Photograph: Inpho

New Zealand Herald says Kiwi franchise want Ireland boss when his contract expires

Euro 2016 gets underway on Friday night with Paris taking on Romania. Photograph: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

John O’Sullivan takes you through what to expect from during the tournament

Punters can get 150/1 about Will Griggs to score in every game at Euro 2016. Photograph: Getty

Bookies are offering punters more markets than ever before for tournament in France

 Conor McPhillips (R) will take over from Andre Bell as Connacht backs’ coach. Photograph: Inpho

Bell departure means Eric Elwood will take over as kicking coach at the Sportsground

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt: “From the coaches’ perspective, we’re incredibly excited about the opportunity this gives us.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt now has four uncapped players as squad for South Africa hit by injuries

 Ian Madigan in action against Argentina in the Rugby World Cup when he was understudy to Johnny Sexton. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Paddy Jackson and Ian Madigan both in running to start first Test in Cape Town

 Leinster’s Dave Kearney has been ruled out of the tour of South Africa.

Connacht’s Matt Healy and Tiernan O’Halloran have come in to the squad for tour

“Do we want Joe to stay? Absolutely and commit right through until 2019. He’s got an unusual set of circumstances and we’re just happy to work with him on those and he’ll let us know as soon as he’s got a clear indication in his own head.”

IRFU happy to wait on decision and would also support coach for Lions job

Hand cyclist Ciara Staunton pictured at the  launch to mark ‘100 Days to Rio’ with Paralympics Ireland  at the Irish Institute of Sport in Abbotstow. Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Irish paralympic athletes will compete across 10 sports in Rio

The Après Match team of  Risteard Cooper, Gary Cooke and Barry Murphy  will be an intrinsic part of RTÉ’s TV  coverage  of the Euro 2016 finals. Photograph: Domhnall Farmer/Inpho

Kevin Kilbane, Gerry Armstrong and Jimmy Nesbitt in the firing line

Munster’s Simon Zebo will not travel with Ireland for the Tour of South Africa. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

South African born Quinn Roux is selected by Joe Schmidt as Ian Madigan misses out

Leinster captain Isa Nacewa: fit for Pro12 final after  arm scan all-clear. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Isa Nacewa and Johnny Sexton injury worries recede as Guiness Pro12 final approaches

Jack McGrath  tries to make headway during  April’s defeat to Ulster in Belfast. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Highest levels must be found again to win Guinness Pro12, says Leinster prop

Gavin Moynihan preparing to hit his second shot on the 17th during the third round of the Irish Open at The K Club. Photograph: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Gavin Moynihan walks away with a cheque for €26,800 and a lot learned from the Irish Open

Christy O Connor Snr: December 21st, 1924-May 14th, 2016. Photograph: Alan Betson

Obituary: He was a trailblazer who inspired subsequent generations

Paul Dunne at the K Club: The 23-year-old was discharged from hospital last Friday, two nights after being admitted with stomach issues. Photograph: James Crombie/INPHO

Paul Dunne’s round all the more impressive given he was only days out of hospital

 Shane Lowry  hits his second shot on the 15th hole during the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open  at The K Club  in Straffan. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Irish star two shots off clubhouse lead after mixed morning at K Club

Garry Ringrose has played against some heavyweight centres during his breakthrough season. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster centre continuing to learn by coming up against the best in the business

Ulster coach Les Kiss: ‘Leinster think that Ulster think that Leinster’s predictable’. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Inpho/Presseye

Ulster coach knows opponents are smarting from recent heavy defeat at Ravenhill

Seán O’Brien (right) with Leinster strength and conditioning coach Cillian Reardon: there will be an update on his hamstring injury later this week. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cian Healy unlikely to feature against Ulster in Pro12 while Rob Kearney makes progress

Man-of-the-match Joey Carbery dives over for a score in Clontarf’s final win. Photograph: Inpho

20-year-old Joey Carbery inspires ’Tarf to second title in three years at the Aviva

The first players to tell their personal stories are Ireland and Leinster front-row Jack McGrath who speaks emotively about how he coped with the death of his brother by suicide in 2010 and Irish women’s player, Hannah Tyrrell, who talks about how she overcame her struggles with self-harm and bulimia. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Five personal development managers to help players at every stage in their career

Clontarf’s Mick McGrath scores a try against UCD. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

UCD fail to capitalise on territory and possession as ’Tarf prove tough nut to crack

Clontarf defeated UCD twice already in the Ulster Bank League Division 1A this season. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho.

UCD will have to belie recent results to win place in final at Castle Avenue

 The Bank of Ireland Leinster Rugby Camps were launched by Leinster players  Jamie Heaslip, Jack McGrath and Hayden Triggs at a pop up training session in St Mary’s National School, Ranelagh. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Jamie Heaslip among those to speak glowingly of Ireland’s new defence coach

All Black legend and AIG ambassador Richie McCaw with a Dublin GAA jersey. Photograph:  Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

World Cup winner has clear memory of getting out of jail at Aviva in 2013

 All Black legend  Richie McCaw  was joined by  Dublin hurler Paul Schutte  to  promote AIG Insurance’s Telematics car insurance. Photograph:  Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

World Cup-winning captain arrives in Dublin after 530-kilometre adventure race

Ian Nagle in action for Munster in 2011. The Cork man is returning to the professional game after a two-year hiatus having travelled in South America and studied in Cambridge. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Former Munster man took two-year break from game after struggling with injuries

Loyal followers: fans watch Loughmore-Castleiney play. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

We’re on the hunt for Ireland’s best sports club, and we want you to help by nominating yours. The winner of the competition – and(...)

Leinster’s Rob Kearney returns to the Leinster side after injury for their Pro12 game against Edinburgh at the RDS. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Home semi-final at stake for Irish province who are without Jonathan Sexton and Jamie Heaslip

Despite being ruled out by his province, Peter O’Mahony can still make the tour squad to South Africa this summer according to the Ireland setup. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Munster head coach Anthony Foley had ruled his captain out until September

Rob Kearney has yet to play three matches in a row due to injuries this season. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho.

Ireland international’s injury frustrations may finally be at and end

Rob Kearney will be back for Leinster’s Pro 12 clash with Glasgow on Friday. Photograph: Inpho

Province will be able to call on Sean O’Brien and Marty Moore in a fortnight

 Former Ulster centre Ian Whitten has a big role to play if Exeter Chiefs are to upset odds.  Photograph:  Steve Bardens/Getty Images.

Getting advantage at pool stage should come home to roost

Grenoble’s James Hart during a pre-season clash with Connacht. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The former Leinster underage representative relishing European Challenge Cup tie

Shane Lowry looks like missing out on the cut in Texas. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

The later ran up a ‘snowman’ on the fourth, finding water twice, pencilling in an eight

 Josh van der Flier and Richardt Strauss tackle Connacht’s Bundee Aki during the Guinness Pro 12 game in Galway. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Openside disappointed at missing out against Scotland after making international breakthrough

Leinster’s Garry Ringrose gets away from Glasgow Warriors Ryan Wilson  in the Guinness Pro12. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster centre is aware of hype surrounding his emergence but remains level-headed

Developers require financing up front if they are to embark on projects, affordable finance. Photograph: Bloomberg

National authority headed by senior minister is needed to plan housing policy

  David Nucifora: “The process that we are moving to by moving away from a less generic form of development, is that we understand that not all of these players are going to move through and become professional rugby players. So for us we are investing more in individuals than we are in teams.”

Union has embraced a change of emphasis so Schools and Youths have been combined

 Tommy O’Donnell returns to the backrow for Munster. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Pro12 points becoming ever more vital as race for Champions Cup places intensifies

Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg goes through the gap between Ireland prop Mikle Ross and hooker Rory Best on the way to scoring his try in the Six Nations clash at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Paying the price for not converting chances; case for the defence; new laws please; England joy

 Ireland backrow CJ Stander goes over the top  to score Ireland’s opening try in the Six Nations game against Scotland at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Backrow capped brilliant first-half performance with NFL-style try

Ireland’s Cillian Gallagher drives for the line during the Under-20 Six Nations match against Scotland at Donnybrook. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Under-20 side move on to Junior World Championship in June

Ireland scrumhalf Stephen Kerins in action. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Nigel Carolan’s side will look to lay down marker for summer with final-day victory

Ultan Dillane: “I have learnt how much extra work needs to go on off the pitch, in terms of studying other teams and how much work we have to put in each week to be ready.” Photograph: Inpho

Connacht secondrow is adapting to his new surroundings after impressive cameo debut

Conor Murray: “That team that played that day (last seaon) is completely different to what we’re going to face on the weekend. We have to bring ourselves back to earth and work really hard this week.”

Win over Italy will be soon forgotten if Ireland slip up against Scotland, argues scrumhalf

Rory Best with David Nucifora watch Ireland training on Tuesday. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Calf strain sees Ireland captain miss training but Best expected to face Scotland this weekend

 Sophie Spence offloads to Ciara Griffin during Ireland’s win over Italy. Photograph: Inpho

Debutant Lindsay Peat celebrates first cap with a try as experimental side have enough

Connacht and Ireland’s Kieran Marmion, Nathan White, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane and Robbie Henshaw celebrate after the game at the Aviva. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Prop enjoys making his debut with his Connacht team mates in heavy Italy win

 Ireland’s Peter Claffey is stopped by  Giovannin Pettinelli of Italy at Donnybrook. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland far from their best as they win 19-13 at Donnybrook

John O’Sullivan looks at the line-ups for Saturday’s Six Nations meeting at Lansdowne Road

James Ryan: inspirational captain led the successful comeback against England at Kingston Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Nigel Carolan’s side expected to be too strong for their Italian counterparts

Ulster’s Jacob Stockdale will make his first appearance for Ireland Under-20s this season in Friday’s Six Nations game  against Italy at Donnybrook. Photograph: Kevin Barnes/Inpho

Winger has been playing for Ulster in the Pro 12

  Ronan O’Gara will remain at Racing 92 until 2019 after signing a new deal with the Top 14 side.   Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Former Munster and Ireland outhalf joined the French club in 2013

Cian Healy in training with Ireland ahead of their clash this weekend against Italy in the Six Nations. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The 28-year-old’s recent minor knee operation is less than he’s faced in the past

Ireland scrum coach Greg Feek oversees training at Carton House on Tuesday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Scrum coach: ‘We just have to adapt to what has been refereed over the last few weeks’

Jared Payne during training at Carton House on Tuesday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ulster man was impressed with Stuart McCloskey and Robbie Henshaw partnership

Rob Kearney is a doubt for Ireland’s Six Nations clash with Italy this weekend. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Leinster and Ireland fullback sat out training after picking up a hamstring niggle

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