Leinster senior coach Stuart Lancaster: “Wasps are a true champion European team . . . similar to Leinster.” Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

No scar tissue from 2016 double header with English club, says Leinster senior coach

Ireland prop Tadhg Furlong  is tackled by Billy Vunipola and Joe Marler of England during the sides recent Six Nations clash. Photograph:  Shaun Botterill/Getty

Ireland prop says there is a bounce in Leinster training sessions ahead of Wasps clash

Katie Taylor lands a left hand on Milena Koleva at the Manchester Arena. Photograph: Lawrence Lustig/Inpho

Bray boxer continued to iron out creases in dominant win over Bulgarian opponent

Leinster’s Ross Maloney gets up after scoring Leinster’s third try against Cardiff Blues. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Province have reason to be fearful with Wasps playing arguably best rugby in Europe

Katie Taylor lands a strong left against Bulgaria’s Milena Koleva during the super-featherweight bout at Manchester Arena.  Photograph:  Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Irish fighter makes it four pro wins against Bulgaria’s Milena Koleva

Leinster’s Rory O’Loughlin evades Gareth Anscombe during his side’s narrow win over Cardiff Blues at the RDS. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ross Malony’s score helps his side edge an exciting encounter at sun-kissed RDS

Johnny Sexton is tackled by England’s Owen Farrell  at the  Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Defence coach John Fogarty not surprised outhalf ‘took a few bangs’ against England

Jamie Heaslip was a late withdrawal from the Ireland side which beat England after he suffered an injury in the warm-up at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Rob Kearney and Jamie Heaslip both being assessed after they missed win over England

Ireland scrumhalf Kieran Marmion makes a lay-off in the Six Nations international match against England at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Getty Images.

Scrumhalf takes opportunity to shine for Ireland despite England’s efforts to thwart

England captain  Dylan Hartley heads to the dressingrooms with the Six Nations trophy. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

England coach holds his hand up after defeat to Ireland ends shot at history

Jonathan Joseph struggled to make any real impression in England’s defeat to Ireland in Dublin. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Johnny Watterson rates Eddie Jones’s side after they fell short of the Grand Slam

The BBC reported that England’s supporters were rumoured to have adopted ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ when a group of schoolboys began singing it at Twickenham in 1988

It’s unlikely those who’ll sing it at Aviva are aware of its cultural and spiritual significance

Ireland’s Paula Fitzpatrick and Lindsay Peat before their Six Nations Championship victory over Wales at the  Cardiff Arms Park, Wales. Photograph: Inpho

Women’s rugby: Ireland v England, Donnybrook, 8.0 (RTÉ 2)

Judy Murray: “There is talent everywhere but it’s not always spotted. You need to create opportunities.”  Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Andy Murray’s mother knows what it takes to make it to the top of the tennis world

Ireland backrow Peter O’Mahony believes Ireland can beat England: “We need to figure out a way to just finish that last per cent”

‘You’d follow Rory anywhere and any decision he makes,’ says Ireland backrow

 Former Olympian Michael Conlan:   Conlan will make his pro debut at Madison Square Garden in New York on St Patrick’s Day. Photograph: Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images

The Belfast man will fight Tim Ibarra in Madison Square on St Patrick’s Day

Ireland’s Conor Murray gets treatment on his shoulder during the defeat in Cardiff on Friday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Tommy Bowe has a suspected leg fracture and is due to see a specialist on Monday

Ireland conceded 10 crucial points while Johnny Sexton was in the sinbin in Cardiff. Photograph: Rebecca Naden/Reuters

Johnny Sexton’s yellow and toothlessness in attack sees Championship dreams dashed

David Harte: has been voted the world’s best goalkeeper for the second year in succession. Photograph:  Ali Bharmal/Getty Images

Top two teams in tournament will clinch World League semi-final spots in London

Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw is tackled by Jonathan Davies and Jamie Roberts of Wales during last year’s Six Nations match. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ireland centre aims to thrive against the physicality of Jamie Roberts and company

Rio Olympics veteran Ronan Gormley is one of the experienced hands in the Ireland squad. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

Lisnagarvey and Banbridge dominate coach Craig Fulton’s squad for Stormont event

Katie Taylor celebrates her fifth round victory over Monica Gentili at the O2 Arena in London. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Livepic

Manchester Arena to host Irish woman’s fourth professional outing on March 25th

Katie Taylor in action against Monica Gentili during their out at the O2 Arena in London. Photo: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

The Bray fighter was always in control against Italy’s Monica Gentili in London

Katie Taylor: “I’ve just been in the ring over the last couple of months with top, seasoned pros, and I’ve learned a lot.” Photograph: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Monica Gentili’s six wins and six defeats represent different challenge for Taylor

Joey Carbery starts at fullback for Leinster against Scarlets. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

Joey Carbery being picked at fullback gives Irish province an added dimension in attack

Jaco Taute comes at midfield for Munster for game against Cardiff Blues. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Ian Keatley returns to the starting team at outhalf after spell with international side

Soctt Fardy will join the Leinster squad for the start of next season. Photo: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Leo Cullen has made four changes for Pro12 clash with Scarlets at the RDS on Saturday

By 2020, it is estimated that 21,000 full size pitches and about 72,000 mini pitches will exist in the European Union. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Fears over rubber granules in surface allayed by European Commision study

The contribution is being asked of all players in the extended squad, some of whom will not make the final cut to represent Ireland in the European finals.

Squad members told to make contribution toward cost of European Championships

Ireland’s Craig Gilroy scores a try against Italy in the Six Nations last month. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Springbok Marcell Coetzee named in team for Treviso clash after recovering from illness

Outhalf Steve Crosbie will begin a new half-back partnership with John Cooney. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho

Pat Lam gives a debut to outhalf Steve Crosbie for Sportsground clash

Shirley McCay is Ireland’s most-capped international sportswoman. Photograph: Rowland White/Inpho.

A pivotal figure in Irish women’s hockey has already amassed 231 international caps

Dan Leavy scores a try for Leinster against Edinburgh in the Pro12 at the RDS last month. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

24th man on Irish squad knows he has to be patient before receiving backrow place

 Katie Taylor in action against  Viviane Obenauf during their fight  in Manchester in December. Photograph:  Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Irish fighter faces Italian opponent in undercard to Bellew v Haye match on Saturday

Ireland’s  Keith Earls  is tackled by France’s Uini Atonio during the sides’ Six Nations  rugby match on Saturday. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Midfield partnership with Garry Ringrose is growing and improving, says Irish centre

France’s wing Noa Seru Nakaitaci watches the scrum during his side’s Six Nations defeat against Ireland. Photo: Franck Fife/Getty Images

Johnny Watterson runs the rule over the visitors after their defeat in Dublin

Munster’s Dave Kilcoyne celebrates with Jaco Taute after scoring a try against Newport Gwent Dragons. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

South African starts at fullback as Erasmus makes five changes for Scarlets’ visit

Joey Carbery: mans the fullback berth for Leinster against Dragons at Rodney Parade. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Winger makes his third start of the season while Joey Carbery starts at fullback

Ireland’s David Harte celebrates Ireland’s victory over Canada at the Olympics. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Cork native is only Irish player to achieve this distinction since the awards began

Leinster’s Josh van der Flier leaves the field with an injury against Edinburgh. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Coach Stuart Lancaster is ready to sign two-year contract extension with Leinster

Rory McIlroy pictured with US president Donald Trump, Former New York Yankees baseball player Paul O’Neill and Clear Sports CEO Garry Singer at Trump International last weekend. Photo: ClearSports Twitter

McIlroy's choices look much like Trump’s own calling card: reckless improvisation

Luke McGrath: “It’s a massive challenge being in and out of both camps. You are juggling two sets of calls.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Scrumhalf looking to impress Joe Schmidt with a big display against Edinburgh

 Jonathan Sexton scores a try for the Lions against Australia in 2013. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland outhalf needs run of games in Six Nations to win place in touring squad

Ireland and Leinster flanker Josh van der Flier needs game time. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Ihpho

Joey Carbery’s return against Edinburgh has implications for remainder of Six Nations

Hockey is now a bona fide Olympic sport and Ireland aim  to  qualify two teams for Tokyo in 2020.

Sport’s aim is to qualify two teams for Tokyo in 2020 and to improve on Rio results

Joey Carbery gets his first Leinster start since last November when his side face Edinburgh on Friday night. Photograph: Inpho/Gary Carr

Outhalf to make first start since injuring his ankle against Northampton last year

Conor Niland has named Ireland number one James McGee in his side for the Davis Cup. Photograph: Inpho/Mike Frey

Irish number one James McGee and number two Sam Barry both selected for Bulgaria

“I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to continue to represent Leinster and Ireland.” Photograph: Inpho

Ireland number eight signs new IRFU contract until 2019 and should reach 100 cap-mark

Jono Gibbes:  former All Black and forwards coach  at Leinster. Photograph: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty

Future of Neil Doak unclear as former All Black signs up to be head coach

Leinster’s Joey Carbery runs in a try against Treviso in their Pro12 match at the Stadio Monigo on Sunday. Photograph: Alfio Guarise/Inpho

Joey Carbery back in the frame after Leinster win, but Johnny Sexton not yet ruled out

New OCI president Sarah Keane is congratulated by board member Sonia O’Sullivan at the Conrad Hotel. Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

New OCI president promise of sweeping changes sees her win 29 of 43 votes cast

 The National Hockey Stadium in UCD, Belfield, is in need  of an upgrade. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

National teams to play games in Belfast due to deterioration of playing surface at UCD

Sarah Keane: “I do believe that there are changes required in relation to how the [OCI] board operated.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Legal expertise of the sole woman on the OCI board a potent asset in her bid for top job

Bernard O’Byrne: “Both of the other candidates for this position belong to the old guard, Willie O’Brien for over 20 years and Sarah Keane for over two years.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Former FAI boss perceived to have done a good job as CEO of Basketball Ireland

 Keith Earls  in action during Ireland’s disappointing defeat to Scotland in the opening  Six Nations match at Murrayfield. Photograph: Inpho

Munster winger conveys sense of pain the Ireland squad feels in the wake of the defeat to Scotland

A  St Munchin’s College player is taken to an ambulance after being injured in the Munster Schools Junior Cup quarter-final against Presentation Brothers College Cork at Musgrave Park on Wednesday. Photograph: Larry Cummins

Boys from Limerick school recovering well after being discharged from hospital in Cork

CJ Stander at an Ireland rugby press conference in Carton House. Photo: Inpho

The South African who died of Motor Neurone Disease gave Stander his first contract

Josh van der Flier during Ireland training at Carton House on Monday. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Italians made things tough for Wales and will do so again in must-win game for Ireland

Robbie Henshaw with a dejected Conor Murray and Paddy Jackson after Ireland’s opening Six Nations defeat to Scotland. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

Centre suggests indiscipline and nerves were to blame for slow start at Murrayfield

It remains unclear whether Johnny Sexton will feature this weekend. Photograph: Inpho

‘At this stage no one is out of contention, hoping everyone will be in with a chance’

Craig Fulton: “We have made some really good progress as a team and there were some strong performances from the younger players.” Photograph: Inpho

Ireland achieve draw and a win against France, and a draw and a defeat to Spain

Ireland hockey player Ronan Gormley this week reached  250  caps in Ireland’s 1-2 defeat to Spain. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ireland star can take tally to 257 if he plays in all of his side’s World League matches

Ireland winner Simon Zebo at an Ireland squad training at  Carton House, Kildare. “If I go with my gut instinct nine times out of 10 I feel like it’ll come off,” he says. Photograph: Inpho

Munster and Ireland winger lauds Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber for new approach to his game

CJ Stander believes Munster could have offered Conor Murray greater protection against Glasgow Warriors. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

Ireland will come across plenty of familiar faces from Glasgow in Scotland opener

Jonathan Sexton has been ruled out of Ireland’s opening Six Nations encounter with Scotland at Murrayfield. Photo: Inpho

Paddy Jackson is expected to take kicking duties while Peter O’Mahony is also out

 A beaming Roger Federer  lifts Australian Open trophy at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. Photograph: Lukas Coch/EPA

Swiss genius claims 18th grand slam title in a triumph that will resonate like no other

 Venus  and Serena Williams: the sisters  have not played against each other since the 2015 United States Open, when Serena won, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.  Photograph:  Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

As sisters do battle for 28th time, Serena seeks to break Steffi Graf’s title record of 22

Ireland’s Katie Taylor was due to have her third professional fight in New York on St Patrick’s weekend. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

She’s expected to fight on undercard of Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko fight

Ireland stand for Ireland’s Call. Who  decided it would remain part of the rugby experience and force fed to 50,000 people before every home Six Nations Championship match. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

A sop to the Ulster players who won’t sing Amhrán na bhFiann, Ireland’s Call is wrong

Craig Fulton: “We are really looking forward to playing World League 2 in Belfast. The main goal is to qualify for the World Cup and this is the first step in that process.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Craig Fulton’s side face France and Spain as they focus on Stormont challenge in March

Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy. Photograph: Eric Luke

Oireachtas committee hears how quest for success is undermined by funding shortages

BrainScope’s new device that could potentially be used to diagnose traumatic brain injuries in the field. Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

BrainScope says product will allow doctors to carry out objective pitch-side assessment

 JJ Hanrahan is to return to  Munster after two seasons with Northampton. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Chris Farrell and James Hart also sign two-year deals with province

Rory Best in action during their defeat to Exeter during the European Champions Cup Pool Five defeat. Best will again see action   against Bordeaux Bègles. Photograph: Getty Images

Ulster v Bordeaux Bègles, Kingspan Stadium, Saturday, 1pm, Live Sky Sports 3

Ireland coach Craig Fulton’s squad will be the host nation for the World League 2 tournament, the draw for which has been announced. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Ireland squad drawn in pool with Austria, Ukraine and Italy for World League 2 fixture in March

Ireland hooker James Tracy in action against Canada at the Aviva. The hookers says you learn the most about yourself during big games. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Hooker keen to seize opportunity but aware of the competition in Leinster and Ireland

 Sinead Kane with running partner John O’Regan as she prepares to  become the first visually impaired athlete to complete the World Marathon Challenge, a race consisting of seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.  Photograph:  Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Seven marathons on seven continents in seven days begins in Antarctica

Leinster’s Johnny Sexton is tackled by Montpellier’s Frans Steyn. The tackle was deemed dangerous enough to merit a red card.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster coach gives Steyn benefit of doubt as he admits key rivals do get special attention

Leinster’s Rory O’Loughlin started on the wing against Montpellier.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster centre has capitalised on an opportunity he thought might never arrive

Leinster’s Johnny Sexton lies injured during their Champions Cup clash with Montpellier. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Meanwhile Sean Cronin will miss this week’s clash with Castres due to a hamstring injury

League leaders Banbridge and second-placed Lisnagarvey are in a position to extend their gap at the top of the table this weekend. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Club stalwart and his broader family have been immersed in hockey for many years

Ulster’s Stuart McCloskey in action against Leinster: “We have to be more clinical when we are  on their line.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Stuart McCloskey believes province are close to clicking as a squad as they face Exeter

Montpellier head coach Jake White celebrates winning last year’s  Challenge Cup: he will be replaced by Scotland coach Vern Cotter. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster face tough threat at RDS despite Jake White’s team being in transition

Ulster’s Sean Reidy tackle on Aled Davies of Scarlets in the Pro12 on Friday was deemed illegal. Photograph: Ben Evans/Inpho.

Ulster backrow falls foul of referee’s interpretation of introduced law

James McGee is two matches away from qualifying for the Australian Open in Melbourne. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The Irish number one Croatia’s Matija Pecotic in straight sets, 7-6, 7-5 in Melbourne

Team Ireland’s chef de mission for Rio 2016 Kevin Kilty, current interim president of the Olympic Council of Ireland William O’Brien and then OCI president Pat Hickey sitting together at the Baku European Games in 2015. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Pat Hickey supporters among candidates for office despite Deloitte’s recommendations

Michael  Conlan: “AIBA cheats, they’re f**king cheats. That’s me, I’ll never box for AIBA again, they’re cheating b****rds, they’re paying everybody. I don’t give a f**k for cursing on TV.” Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Sports review of 2016: Conlan beats Russia’s Vladimir Nikitin but loses the fight

Academy back Ciarán Gaffney is named in the senior Connacht match-day squad for the first time. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

History against Ulster does not bode well for Pat Lam’s much-depleted side

Ireland’s men’s hockey coach  Craig Fulton. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Craig Fulton’s underfunded team have still managed to finish year ranked 10th in world

“The trick on selection is to make sure, particularly at Leinster where there are so many Ireland internationals, that we are competitive in both games,” siad Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster coach is well aware of the wishes of Joe Schmidt in resting certain players

USA boxing coach salutes Claressa Shields during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Coach of year is fitting end to year that saw Ireland’s elite boxers flee to pro ranks

Leinster outhalf Ross Byrne: “Ultimately you want to be the number one 10 in Leinster. You want to play in these big games.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Injuries to other outhalves has provided the opportunity to step up and perform

In the absence of Jonny Sexton and Joey Carbery, Ross Byrne will fill the outhalf berth for Leinster against Munster at Thomond Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Coach Leo Cullen denied the services of several big names for the clash with Munster

Leinster’s Jamison Gibson-Park with  Hayden Triggs. “She’s not gone from life. She’s here somewhere. For me at the moment playing rugby, she is the biggest motivation.”  Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Death of premature baby after three weeks changed Leinster secondrow’s life forever

Leinster’s Rob Kearney is tackled by Northampton’s Ken Pisi during their Champions Cup clash at Franklin’s Gardens. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Meanwhile Cian Healy has passed a Head Injury Assessment and will be available

Ireland’s Jason Quigley celebrates after his first-round knockout of  Puerto Rico ’s  Jorge Melendez  in their middleweight fight at The Forum in Los Angeles. Photograph: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA Today Sports

Donegal middleweight takes out Jorge Melendez in first round to claim 10th knockout

 Irish Amateur Boxing Association chairman Joe Christle, president Pat Ryan, CEO Fergal Carruth and director Ciarán Kirwan.   Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Document outlines a number of key objectives for the Association

The Irish Times Sportswoman of The Year Annalise Murphy with Outstanding Achievement Award Winner Sonia O’Sullivan. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Sailor ends year as The Irish Times/Sport Ireland Sports Woman of the Year Award

Annalise Murphy was crowned The Irish Times/ Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year for 2016. Photo: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Sonia O’Sullivan honoured with Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Sport Award

Tommy Bowe on the move against Clermont Auvergne at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photograph: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Ulster winger regaining his confidence after a prolonged spell on sidelines

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