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

Cian Healy: will be hoping to  enjoy the milestone of his 150th appearance for Leinster. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Cian Healy, Seán Cronin and Mike Ross among internationals released for clash

Simon Zebo and Jordan Coghlan: Munster will be aiming to get the basics right and build platform for the three-quarter line. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Simon Zebo and Tommy O’Donnell released as province take on Newport Gwent Dragons

Ulster’s Jason Stockdale in action against Scarlets. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/Inpho

Ulster aiming to bounce back after successive defeats in the PRO12

Connacht left wing Matt Healy is being tipped for international recognition. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Ireland do not release Dillane for province’s tough trip to Edinburgh

 Oliver Jager  in action for Blackrock College in  the Leinster Senior Cup:  Jager is pursuing a professional rugby career in New Zealand with the Canterbury Crusaders.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Oliver Jager has overcome an ACL rupture to cement place in Canterbury Academy

Conor Murray: the Ireland scrumhalf required eight stitches to a wound in the corner of his eye and did not return for the end of the game with England. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Mike Brown’s kicks to Conor Murray’s face could still have caused serious injury

“He’s hopefully filtering back in rather than going in the opposite direction as we have had in the last two games.”

Payne has recovered from hamstring injury that saw him miss England game

 England No 8 Billy Vunipola  charges with the ball as the ireland duo Mike Ross and Jamie Heaslip attempt to make the tackle during the Six Nations game at Twickenham. Photograph:  Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje spark power game for Eddie Jones’s side

Joe Schmidt: “For them to get back ahead of us after we went 10-6 up was disappointing and then you lose a game because a ball slips out of a player’s hand (Henshaw) or because there seems to be a dark patch on the (television) when you are looking at a TMO decision (van der Flier’s grounding over the line) and it doesn’t fall your way.”

‘We can’t buy a trick at the moment,’ bemoans the frustrated Ireland coach

Jonathan Sexton lines up a penalty kick during the Six Nations match between Ireland and England at the Aviva Stadium in March 2015. Ireland’s No 10 is key if his side is to win at Twicenham today. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Who holds the upper hand in the key battles?

Greg Jones: makes his debut at number eight for the Under 20s

Nigel Carolan’s adventurous brand of rugby needs stable platform to work from

Joe Schmidt’s tenure compares favourably to predecessor Declan Kidney over first 29 matches

Adam Byrne scores Leinster’s fourth try in the province’s victory against Zebre earlier this month in the RDS. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Talented young back, whose career has been stalled by injury, likely to start for province

Conor Murray: “Mentally for us it is about preparing to go into a cauldron, a place England are really, really hard to beat.”  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Scrumhalf says small improvements can trigger a big difference in final outcome

Joe Schmidt: hoping for positive  news about Jared Payne  after Tuesday training. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Jared Payne the main fitness concern ahead of Six Nations game against England

Cian Healy and Mike Ross both return to the Ireland squad for Saturday’s trip to play England. Photograph: Inpho

Craig Gilroy and Jordi Murphy also called up by Joe Schmidt for England Six Nations clash

Kieran Marmion: returns to partner AJ MacGinty at halfback. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Pat Lam braced for a ‘fired up’ Zebre out to make amends after thrashing from Leinster

Outhalf Paddy Jackson will captain Ulster against the Scarlets. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Press Eye

Stuart Olding starts at fullback as Guinness Pro12 leaders look to continue good form

Jack Conan in training earlier this week: player is  among the eight changes within the squad that Leo Cullen has made for the Cardiff Blues game. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Clontarf native to fill Leinster’s secondrow gap after Mike McCarthy’s injury blow

Ulster’s Chris Henry has played in just one game in the past six weeks after injuring his shoulder against Toulouse in December. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Inpho/Presseye

Flanker is working his way back to full fitness from shoulder injury setback

Munster’s Tommy O’Donnell in action for Ireland during the Six Nations game against France at the Stade de France last week. Photograph: Getty.

Not quite as much at stake as last year’s Pro12 final but still a must-win game for both sides

Ireland’s Cian Healy in Group D action against France at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, during last year’s World Cup. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

Prop confirms loyalty to province until at least after 2019 World Cup in Japan

Rob Kearney, Leinster fullback at the launch of Laya healthcare’s Head On concussion management programme. Photograph: Marc O’Sullivan

Ireland fullback welcomes ‘Head On’ concussion management programme inititaive

France’s substitute prop Eddy Ben Arous in actionat the Stade de France Stadium. Photograph: Getty Images

Props Eddie Ben Arous and Rabah Slimani excelled off the bench in Paris victory

France’s Mathieu Bastareaud and Yoann Maestri tackle Rory Best of Ireland during the Rugby World Cup clash at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, last October. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

From fullback to number eight, John O’Sullivan looks at how the individual battles might unfold this weekend

Ireland under-20’s Hugo Keenan switches to fullback for game against France. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Ireland have room for improvement and their designs are to do just that

Injury-enforced changes see Conor O’Brien and Hugo Keen start in Irish team

Irish international Paula Fitzpatrick: hoping for Irish Women’s team’s first victory in France. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Toulouse spell has given Paula Fitzpatrick and Heather O’Brien insight into French style of play

Team mates: Donnacha Ryan and Paul O’Connell on the pitch. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Donnacha Ryan pays tribute to his retiring Munster and Ireland team mate

Seán O’Brien took a full part in Ireland’s training session at Carton House on Tuesday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Injury update: Earls passes first stage of HIA; Trimble, Zebo and Sexton rest knocks

Paul O’Connell celebrates scoring on his Ireland debut. Photograph: Inpho

From a try on debut to a career ending injury, here are 10 defining Paulie moments

Ireland’s CJ Stander with Jack McGrath at the end of the Six Nations game against Wales at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Loosehead prop disappointed Ireland were unable to capitalise on quick start

The new law application came into effect in the Southern Hemisphere on January 1st and will apply in Northern Hemisphere from June 1st.  Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

From June 1st in Europe, the ball carrier must start at the front of the maul

Ireland’s Will Connors is tackled by Harrison Keddie of Wales during the Under 20 Six Nations clash at Donnybrook. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Home side will be suitably frustrated following an error-strewn performance

From fullback to number eight, John O’Sullivan looks at how the individual battles might unfold this weekend

George North: “I want to be on the wing. I want to have that space to run at people.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Powerful Wales winger frustrated by his largely curtailed role at Northampton

Ireland Under-20  James Ryan in action against a Leinster Development side. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ireland have bulkier pack this season and will aim for strong start at Donnybrook

James Cronin: “I was happy enough to sign for Munster for three years. If you’re playing well in any sport you’re going to be wanted and luckily for me I was wanted at home.”

With a new Munster contract in place, prop now looking forward to possible third cap

Lansdowne secondrow James Ryan will captain Ireland under-20 in their opening Six Nations game agaainst Wales at Donnybrook on Friday night. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Lansdowne’s James Ryan to captain new-look side

Jared Payne in action during Ireland training at Carton House. Photograph:   Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ulster star relishing opportunity to make up for defeat in Cardiff last year

Sean O’Brienmissed training on Wednesday ahead of Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Wales. Photograph: Inpho

Backrow absent with tight hamstring as a precaution before Six Nations opener

Leinster’s Rhys Ruddock in action against Toulon. Ruddock has been in excellent form for the province in recent matches and is in the running to wear the Ireland number six jersey against Wales. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster flanker has never played against Wales, the country his father led to Grand Slam

Scrumhalf Conor Murray takes a selfie with young supporters during Ireland’s open training session at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ireland scrumhalf enjoys benefits of IRFU system and never considered going abroad

Darren Sweetnam will make his for competitive appearance for Munster against Zebre. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Anthony Foley mixed youth with experience as Munster’s fortunes improve

Stuart Olding (right) will return to the Ulster side after a long injury absence. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Stuart Olding’s return after serious injury a real boost for Ben Kiss’s side

Adam Byrne will make his second appearance for Leinster three years after his first. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Coach Leo Cullen travels to Rodney Parade missing 30 players

Ireland coach taking a mindful approach with young centre, despite Brian O’Driscoll’s advice

 Head coaches Jacques Brunel (Italy), Warren Gatland (Wales), Joe Schmidt (Ireland), Eddie Jones (England), Guy Noves (France) and Vern Cotter (Scotland) at the Six Nations launch. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland’s World Cup disappointment will not compromise effort, says coach

Wales head coach Warren Gatland. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Wales coach Warren Gatland rejects notion Ireland will be vulnerable in Six Nations

New England rugby coach Eddie Jones responds to press questions during the RBS Six Nations media launch at the Hurlingham Club, London, yesterday. Photograph: John Walton/PA Wire

Jones wants English players with confidence to run with ball and look after it properly

Joe Schmidt and Ireland captain Rory Best at the launch of the Six Nations. Schmidt has confirmed Johnny Sexton is fully fit for next month’s championship. Photograph: Reuters

‘Johnny trained really well yesterday, he’s fully fit and ready to go, he’s passed his three’

Conan O’Donnell, Adam McBurney, James Ryan and Paul Kiernan at the Ireland Under-20 squad announcement. Photograph: Inpho

Nigel Carolan says last year’s talisman Garry Ringrose needs to be given time to develop

Zak Vaughan scored twice for Terenure in their win over St Mary’s. Photograph: Inpho

Winners take a Dublin 6 derby which came to life after an error-strewn opening half

Munster’s Dave Kilcoyne in full flight against Leicester Tigers: came through the Munster academy from the 2011-2012 season. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster, Munster, Ulster and Connacht academies are producing quality new players

Jonathan Secton hands off Bath’s Tom Homer at the RDS. “I’ve said it all along, from day one, I rely on everyone around me.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leinster outhalf finally putting the disappointment of World Cup behind him

Leo Cullen: “We will prepare for the game as best we can, to put in a good performance, exactly the same mindset as we had last week.”  Photograph: Leo Cullen/Inpho

But province’s coach will make some changes to his side for the visit to Wasps

 Eoin Reddan on Jimmy Gopperty: “He presents a massive running threat, a massive kicking threat. He’s a good passer, he’s a clever guy. He’ll prove to be a great signing for them (Wasps) yet.”

Former teammates will be on opposing side when Wasps host Leinster in Coventry

Jared Payne:  Silver lining in Ulster’s defeat in London last Saturday was the performance of Jared Payne at fullback. Presseye/Stephen Hamilton

Province without Henry, Ludik and Herbst as they chase place in knockout stage

Seán O’Brien: “You don’t want to be doing too much yapping towards the backs”

Schmidt to name new leader on Wednesday with forward among favourites

Leinster’s Peter Dooley chases Bath’s Semesa Rokoduguni at the RDS. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

John Fogarty admits he felt a little nervous ahead of Bath visit in Champions Cup

A dejected Ulster captain Rory Best leaving the pitch after Saturday’s European Rugby Champions Cup defeat by Saracens in London. Photograph: Andrew Fosker/Inpho/Presseye

Disappointed Ulster coach rues missed chances at crucial stage in first half

Ulster defence coach Joe Barakat. Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Presseye/Inpho

Joe Barakat says it was complacency that led to province trailing 23-0 at half-time

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