Ulster’s Ruan Pienaar during the Captains run ahead of Ulster’s European Rugby Champions Cup game against Exeter Chiefs at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photograph: Inpho

“We have to be physical to win this game. We’ve got to stand up and do the job”

 Mark McCall,  Saracens director of rugby, celebrates with Sean Maitland after their victory over RC Toulon  at Stade Felix Mayol in Toulon last weekend. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Pool fixtures and team line-outs

Scrumhalf  Peter Stringer is  one of five changes to Sale Sharks team. Photograph:  Harry Engels/Getty Images

French giants will chase bonus-point win after opening-day loss to Saracens

Charles Piutau evades the lunging Jonathan Davies in Ulster’s Pro12 win over Scarlets earlier this season. Photograph: Darren Kidd/Presseye/Inpho

Kiwi recovering from concussion as Exeter come to Belfast also looking for first win

Garry Ringrose is set to make the graduation from Ireland Under-20s to the Test side. Photograph: Inpho

Graduates from the Ireland under-20 squad are few and far between in last five seasons

Tomas O’Leary has 24 caps for Ireland. Photograph: Inpho

Former Munster and Ireland scrumhalf added ahead of Sunday’s Leinster match

Leinster celebrate their Heineken Cup final victory in 2012, a year when they won one and drew one of their opening pool fixtures. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Positive results in the first two pool games not a guarantee of progress for Irish teams

Racing-Metro’s New Zealand backrow Chris Masoe is tackled by Stade Francais’s   Sekou Macalou during the French Top 14 clash in Paris. Photograph: Miguel Medina/Getty

Stade Francais a little unfortunate to lose 29-22 in the Top 14 Parisian derby

Ronan O’Gara: ‘I have been rattled by the accusation because there’s a presumption that anything goes in Racing’. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

‘If I believed that there were unsporting practices accepted here, I’d be out the door in the morning’

Jared Payne switches to fullback and assumes the captaincy for Ulster in their Pro12 game against Connacht. Photograph: Rob Hardie/Inpho.

Despite poor record against northern province Pat Lam’s side are better equipped

Leinster’s Rhys Ruddock is tackled by Munster’s  CJ Stander at the Aviva last April. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Sexton’s blemish-free placekicking proved the crucial difference last time sides met

World Rugby has officially ratified Ireland’s bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup along with those of France and South Africa.

South African and French bids also ratified by World Rugby

Tommy Bowe made his return to action in Ulster’s win over his former club Ospreys. Photograph: Inpho

Neutral officials would benefit European rugby, Ireland heavyweights make return

 Sean Reidy in action during Ireland’s second Test against South Africa in Johannesburg in June. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Josh van der Flier and Sean Reidy have been the form players at start of Pro12 season

Nathan White departs the field against Leinster last March. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘It’s disappointing to finish up this way, but I feel that I can look back with a lot of pride’

Munster’s Peter O’Mahony has returned to full training. Photograph: Inpho/Morgan Treacy

Backrow has been out injured since Ireland’s Rugby World Cup win over France last year

John Lacey will referee the opening weekend Champions Cup clash between Toulon and Saracens. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland’s John Lacey to take charge of marquee clash between Toulon and Saracens

Arnold Palmer with Michael Smurfit at the K Club in 2003. “He was the most charismatic golfer in the world, that’s for sure. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho /

‘He was charismatic, humble, an absolute gem of a human being,’ said Smurfit

Gold medalist Michael McKillop celebrates on the podium at the medal ceremony for the men’s 1500m T37 final at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on September 11th, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph: Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images

In their words: Ireland’s Paralympic medal winners on their success

Juan José Méndez Fernández of Spain competes in the road race C1-2-3 during the Paralympic Games in Rio. Photograph: Anthony Edgar for OIS/IOC/AFP/Getty Images

Paralympics review: The true power of the ‘spirit in motion’ was on show in Rio

Noelle Lenihan of Ireland celebrates winning bronze after the F38 Discus Final at the Olympic Stadium during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

The 16-year-old set a Paralympic record for her classification

Katie-George Dunlevy of Ireland, along with her pilot Eve McCrystal, in action during the Women’s B Road Race at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

The Irish pair won their second medal of the Games with second in the Women’s road race

 Eoghan Clifford leading the men’s C1-3 road race  in Rio. Photograph: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Second such mishap in Rio saw Irish cyclist, favourite to win, drop to fifth place

Ireland’s Eoghan Clifford  leading during the  C1-3 Road Race  in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph:  Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Chain drop sees Galway lecturer finish fifth in road race

Ireland’s Niamh McCarthy in action during Women’s Discus Throw F41 final at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Discus thrower from Carrigaline secures Ireland’s ninth honour of the Games

Orla Barry of Ireland celebrates in front of Ireland supporters after taking silver in the Women’s Discus F57 Final at the Olympic Stadium. Photograph: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

No messages from Skibberreen for Patrick O’Leary, but you can’t have everything

Orla Barry of Ireland in action during the Women’s Discus F57 Final at the Olympic Stadium. Photograph: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile via Getty Images

The Cork woman followed up on World Championship silver in F57 Discus final

Ellen Keane is through to the final of the S9 100m Breaststroke in Rio. Photograph: Sportsfile

Follows up Wednesday’s bronze with a personal best in S9 100m Butterfly heats

Katie-George Dunlevy of Ireland, right, and her pilot Eve McCrystal, react as they are informed that they have won gold in the women’s B time trial at the   Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Three medals were won in the cycling before Ellen Keane secured bronze in the pool

Patrick O’Leary of Ireland after finishing third in event number 5 during the KL3 200m semi-final at Lagoa Stadium during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

O’Leary qualified for tomorrow’s KL3 canoeing final – the first time it is in the Games

Colin Lynch won Ireland’s fourth medal of the Paralympics, taking silver in the men’s Time Trial C2. Photograph: Sportsfile

Takes silver in C2 Men’s Time Trial putting Ireland halfway towards total of eight

Phillip Eaglesham with his three sons Tyler, aged 9, Travis, aged 13, and Mason, aged 6. Photograph: Sportsfile

Philip Eaglesham took up shooting as a way of dealing with Q fever and depression

Nicole Turner has reached her fourth final of the 2016 Rio Payalympics. Photograph: Inpho

Teenager earlier qualified for final as sixth fastest after a season’s best swim

 Gordon Reid: Wimbledon wheelchair champion Gordon Reid is hoping to emulate  fellow Scot Andy Murray by adding a  gold medal to his first success at SW19.  Photograph: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Stories of Paralympians Stephane Houdet and Gordon Reid share common themes

Ireland’s Nicole Turner: finished seventh in the final of the S6 200 metres Individual Medley at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium in Rio. Photograph: Sportsfile

James Scully recorded personal best in heats of S5 50 metres freestyle but misses final

Ireland’s Nicole Turner qualified for the final of the Women’s 50 Metre Butterfly - S6 at the Rio Paralympics. Photo: Dan Behr/Inpho

The 14-year-old will go up against hot favourite Ellie Simmonds of Britain tonight

Elizabeth “Libby” Kosmala: has amassed nine gold medals, three silvers and a bronze over the years. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

At the age of 74, Elizabeth ‘Libby’ Kosmala was the oldest to take part in the Rio Games

Silver Medalist Liam Stanley of Canada, Gold medalist Michael McKillop of Irlend and Bronze medalist Madjid Djemai of Algeria celebrate on the podium at the medal ceremony for the Men’s 1500 metre T37 Final during day 4 of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images

Runner clinches his fourth Paralympic gold medal with superb 1,500 metre run in Rio

Orla Comerford of Ireland following the Women’s 100m T13 Final at the Olympic Stadium during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Leaving Cert student Orla Comerford put in a stellar performance in the T13 100 metres

Greta Streimikyte of Ireland after finishing the Women’s 1500m T13 Final at the Olympic Stadium during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Orla Comerford qualifies for final of T13 women’s 100m in Rio de Janeiro

Gold medalist Daniel Dias of Brazil celebrates on the podium at the medal ceremony for the Men’s 200m freestyle S5 final. Photograph: Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Brazilian swimmer epitomises the huge effort needed to win at the Paralympics

Ireland’s Eoghan Clifford on the way to winning bronze in the men’s  C3 3000m Individual Pursuit at the Rio Olympic Velodrome. Photograph:   Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Galway lecturer wins Ireland’s second medal of the day in Rio

Ireland’s Jason Smyth crosses the line to win the T13 100m final at the Paralympic Games in Rio. Photograph:  Sergio Moraes/Reuters

Sprinter makes it five Paralympic gold medals with victory in Rio

Jason Smyth of Ireland is interviewed after winning Heat 1 of the Men’s 100m - T13 Heat 1 at the Olympic Stadium during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photo: Sportsfile

Jason Smyth looks to make it three 100m gold medals in a row shortly after 3pm

Ireland’s  Jason Smyth on his way to winning the first heat of the   men’s 100m  T13  at the Olympic Stadium  in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Jason Smyth leads qualifiers in search for hat-trick of Paralympic 100m titles

 Ireland coach Gerard Glynn talks to goalkeeper Aaron Tier after the defeat  to Ukraine in the men’s 7-a-side football preliminaries at Deodoro Stadium  in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Boys in green show tenacity against skilful and organised outfit

Ireland’s  James Scully has qualified for the final of the men’s s% 200m at the Pralympic Games in Rio. Photograph: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Meath swimmer sixth fastest in heats ahead of 200m freestyle final

World number one Jason Smyth is going for a third-straight paralympics gold medal in the 100-metres. Photograph:

Team Ireland have seven athletes as well as the 7-a-side football team competing first up

Katie-George Dunlevy of Ireland along with her pilot Eve McCrystal during a training session in the Olympic Velodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Irish cyclists hopeful ahead of final preparations for Paralympic races

Hannah McFadden (left) and her sister, Tatyana, both of whom will compete in the Rio Paralympic. Photograph: NYT

American athlete to compete at every distance from 100m to marathon

Going for gold: Ireland’s Jason Smyth, “the fastest Paralympian on the planet”, wins the 200m T13 final at the London Paralympic Games in 2012. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

The 48-strong Irish team will be seeking to beat their medal haul at London Games

Ireland’s Helen Kearney with her bronze after success on Mister Cool. Photograph: Inpho

All you need to know about the 48 men and women chasing glory for Ireland in Rio

Ulster scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar: name is sure to be cheered to the rafters at the Kingspan. Photograph: Simon King/Presseye/Inpho

Les Kiss expects Ruan Pienaar and others to front up against Newport Gwent Dragons

European captain Darren Clarke has named his final three players for next month’s Ryder Cup. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

The Offaly golfer tweeted his disappointment but wished the team well at Hazeltine

Kerry legend Paidi O’Se lifts Sam Maguire in 1985. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Beating the Dubs a mere bagatelle for canny Kerry natives - GAA’s El Classico equivalent

Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton kicks the winning point in the 2011 All-Ireland final. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Kerry v Dublin in Sunday’s semi-final is latest big clash between these two powerhouses

Leinster’s Cian Healy makes a pass despite being being tackled. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Returning Cian Healy shows up well in Donnybrook while Gibson-Park impresses

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

More articles