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

Jerome Pels: will take over as CEO of Hockey Ireland on January 3rd.

Dutchman will succeed Rob Johnson and begin his new appointment on January 3rd

Referee Jérôme Garcès red cards Dylan Hartley of Northampton Saints after he struck Leinster’s Seán O’Brien around the head. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

England captain recieved a red card for collision which forced Sean O’Brien off after HIA

Katie Taylor celebrates beating Viviane Obenauf  at  Manchester Arena on Saturday. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Olympic champion happy to ‘get the six rounds’ in second professional contest

Katie Taylor  in action against Viviane Obenauf  in Manchester on Saturday. Photograph:    Andrew Couldridge/Livepic via Reuters

Olympic gold medallist sees off tough Brazilian opponent in her second pro fight

Ireland’s Katie Taylor  in action against Viviane Obenauf during their super-featherweight bout at the Manchester Arena. Photograph:  Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Irish fighter claims unanimous points decision after Viviane Obeneuf lasts six rounds

 Katie Taylor during the weigh-in ahead of her fight against Viviane Obenauf in Manchester. Photograph: Steve Welsh/PA Wire

Bray boxer on Anthony Joshua undercard in fight that will be shown in United States

Seán O’Brien is ready to hit the ground running against Northampton. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster flanker glad to see van der Flier ‘keeping heat’ on well-stocked backrow

Dave Miley’s case has been referred to the Workplace Relations Commission.

Dave Miley overlooked for position in favour of former FAI executive Richard Fahey

Shane O’Donoghue opened the scoring for Glennane against Lisnagarvey in the EY League on November 26th. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

EY Hockey League leaders Monkstown have home advantage for game against Glenanne

Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club: began accepting women members 20 years ago. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Helen Shields becomes first woman to take on role since foundation of club in 1877

Sean O’Brien starts for Leinster against Northampton Saints on Friday night. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

Henshaw partners Ringrose in midfield with O’Brien, Heaslip and van der Flier returning

Jack McGrath tackles Dylan Hartley in last seasons Six Nations clash at Twickenham. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Northampton hooker is spearheading England surge having overcome disciplinary issues

Senior coach Stuart Lancaster: “I’m keen to continue on what I am doing here” in Leinster. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster senior coach rules out move to Bristol, focusing firmly on Northampton clash

Mike Ross, Jamison Gibson Park, Fergus McFadden, Dave Kearney and Rhys Ruddock watch training. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Robbie Henshaw and Rob Kearney trained non contact, they’ll be assessed later in week

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen: described Joey Carbery as a “very, very positive thing for Leinster rugby”. Photograph: Craig Thomas/Inpho

Wins by all four provinces creates positive mood for resumption of European battle

Leinster’s Jack Conan  is tackled by Nick Crosswell of Newport  during their Pro12 match at the RDS, Dublin, on Saturday night. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

There were strong performances from number 8 Jack Conan and Rory O’Loughlin

Leinster’s Joey Carbery in action against  Newport on Saturday night at the RDS. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

With most of their international players in the stands Leinster still get job done in RDS

Leinster outhalf Johnny Sexton:  “Johnny is just one of a number of guys we are trying to manage back.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan

Leo Cullen picks Joey Carbery for Newport game with Seán O’Brien also on injured list

Ireland coach Zaur Antia intends to become more involved in coaching the women boxers. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

It’s been a difficult few months for Irish boxing but Antia remains an important part

Johnny Sexton’s fitness is a concern for both Leinster and Ireland. Photograph: Getty Images

Joey Carbery will start at 10 against the Newport Gwent Dragons this weekend

Craig Fulton: assessing the  talent  at his disposal as he plans for the important World League event at Stormont in Belfast next  March.   Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Keith O’Hare, Jamie Wright, Matthew Nelson and Julian Dale all won caps against Spain

Ireland outhalf Johnny Sexton reacts after sustaining a hamstring injury against New Zealand at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph:  Lorraine O’Sullivan

Ireland coach says injured outhalf needs time out but province want him back for Cup tie

Katie Taylor is declared the winner against Karina Kopinska in London on Saturday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Irish boxer will take on Viviane Obenauf on undercard of men’s world heavyweight clash

Katie Taylor celebrates her win at the SSE Arena, Wembley, London. Photograph: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Having beaten Kopinska in less than five minutes, the Irish boxer ends a difficult run

Katie Taylor celebrates her win over Karina Kopinska at the The SSE Arena, Wembley, London. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Knpho

Former Olympic champion disposes of Kopinska’s challenge within three rounds

Katie Taylor lands a right in her bout with Karina Kopinska at the Wembley Arena. Photo: Henry Browne/Reuters

Taylor ticks all the right boxes as she makes debut at Wembley Arena

Katie Taylor in London during the weigh in ahead  of her fight with Karina Kopinska. Photograph: Tony O’Brien/Reuters.

Entertainment key to professional boxing soap opera, says promoter Eddie Hearns

A number of clubs have sought information on how the Tennis Ireland selection process for the new chief executive position was conducted. Photograph: Inpho

Former FAI executive Richard Fahey will begin post as new chief executive in January

Australia’s Kane Douglas: had his time at Leinster cut short by Michael Cheika. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Secondrow failed to impress in short time at Leinster but wants to shine for Australia

Katie Taylor: “It’s a new journey, an exciting journey and I am lucky to have a platform on Sky.” Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Boxer’s aim is not just to win anymore but to capture the public’s imagination

 Irish  manager Mick Kearney: “Of 12 incidents that needed looking at [by citing oficer], just one  related to Ireland.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Retiring rugby team manager denies Ireland are whinging after defeat to New Zealand

 Jamie Heaslip (centre) speaks to the players after Ireland’s defeat to the All Blacks in the  Aviva Stadium, Dublin. “There’s no point looking back. The game is over. They won.” Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.

Ireland’s number eight ain’t complaining about bruising match against All Blacks

Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw is injured in the tackle of Sam Cane of New Zealand during the Autumn Test at the Aviva Stadium. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The Ireland duo both received injuries on Saturday while Simon Zebo looks set to play

Ireland prop Tadhg Furlong runs into an All Black wall at Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Prop regrets not having another crack at All Blacks to decide November mini-series

Ireland’s Garry Ringrose battles for possession with New Zealand’s Anton Lienert-Brown during the game at the  Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

‘Your 10 and your 12 run a lot of your game . . . we did lose our shape’

New Zealand clears the  ball upfield against Ireland as  Johnny Sexton rushes in. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Beauden Barrett and team-mates won’t forget one-year anniversary of legend’s death

Ireland goalkeeper David Harte prepares to defend a penalty corner during the Rio Olympics. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Kinsale native in line to retain world title after good showing at Olympic Games

Steve Hansen has said his side let down All Blacks history in Chicago. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie

‘If we prepare well and our attitude is good then we are going to be hard to beat’

Jerome Kaino: A secondrow two weeks ago in Soldier Field, where, he says, “I tried to be Brodie Retallick”. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

‘Chicago loss has added a little spice to edge we’ve got this week,’ says senior All Black

New Zealand  assistant coach Ian Foster: “I guess what’s happened in Chicago has just added a little bit more seasoning to it, hasn’t it?” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Return of Brodie Retallick and most likely Sam Whitelock ups the ante for Ireland

The  Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg. South Africa has 14 stadiums with a capacity of over 40,000. Photograph: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Both Irish rivals have a lot in their favour in terms of infrastructure and stadiums

How does the bidding process for the 2023 Rugby World Cup work? Photograph: Inpho/Billy Stickland

All the key questions and answers as Ireland look to bring the Webb Ellis Cup to home soil

Ireland’s Garry Ringrose makes a break during the Guinness Series match against Canada at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Saturday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Garry Ringrose and Billy Holland get first caps, but focus is on next clash with All Blacks

Ireland’s Alison Miller is tackled by Kay Wilson during her side’s narrow defeat to England. Photograph: Inpho/Billy Stickland

First November clash ends in a frustrating and narrow defeat to the world champions

World Rugby chief executive  Brett Gosper: “Ireland have an opportunity to demonstrate what great hosts they are.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland is competing with France and South Africa to host men’s tournament

Ireland coach Craig Fulton: “The door is  never closed to the national squad if performances warrant it.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ulster venue chosen to host World Cup qualification event next March

Ireland players  Niamh Briggs, Alison Miller, Clare McLaughlin and Nora Stapleton following the Women’s Rugby  World Cup pool draw at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Draw starts ball rolling for tournament to be held in Dublin and Belfast next August

Ireland players Clare McLaughlin, Alison Miller, Niamh Briggs and Nora Stapleton after the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup pool draw at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday.  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

One Pool C team yet to be decided following Belfast draw for 2017 tournament

Ireland’s Clare McLaughlin, Niamh Briggs, Nora Stapleton and Alison Miller at the Pool draw for the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Tom Tierney’s hosts drawn in Pool C with fellow 2014 semi-finalists and Wallaroos

Ireland’s Devin Toner and Jack McGrath tackle New Zealand’s Ben Smith. Photograph: Kamil Krzaczynski/AP Photo

Belfast explorer, who is blind and paralysed, stressed importance of a positive mindset

Pat Hickey, President of the Olympic Council of Ireland at Harbour Road Howth. Photo: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

It is not hard to believe that the OCI, now deeply divided, is in complete melt down

  Dan Carter at the launch of SoftCo10, a leading provider of financial software.

Carter believes if All Blacks can negate Sexton, the hard work will be done

Stephen Ferris has backed   Tommy Bowe to return to his best form. Photograph:   Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

‘I think Tommy, right now, believes that he can play for the Lions next year’

 All Black Charles Piutau and former Ireland International Stephen Ferris were in The Helix Theatre in Dublin  to officially launch the historic ‘Rugby Weekend’ event in Chicago, presented by AIG Insurance. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Former international says players won’t let focus waver as they meet All Blacks

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland

Lions coach already trying to get under skin of his New Zealand counterpart

Michael Conlan protests his controversial loss to Russian Vladimir Nikitin in the bantamweight quarter-final bout at the Olympic Games in Rio in August. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Boxer has put Rio debacle behind him as he embarks on professional career in California

Ben Robinson died as a result of second impact syndrome suffered in a match for Carrickfergus Grammar School in Januray 2011.

Karen Walton’s son Benjamin died as result of second-impact syndrome

Ben Robinson died as a result of second impact syndrome suffered in a match for Carrickfergus Grammar School in Januray 2011.

Governing bodies including IRFU and World Rugby named in case in Belfast High Court

Katie Taylor with her manager Brian Peters. “She wanted to get going quickly because that’s the way she is,” said Peters. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Boxer signs with Eddie Hearn as manager Brian Peters hints at title fight within two years

David Balbirnie has been actively involved in hockey for over 40 years.

Former Ireland senior men’s team manager going to top international administrative job

Pat Hickey at the Rio Games. The Deloitte report on the Olympic Council of Ireland is due to be presented to the council’s emergency general meeting on Thursday night. Photograph: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

With John Delaney and Kevin Kilty leaving, the time is right to reform Olympics body

Olympic lightweight double skulls silver medallists Paul and Gary O’Donovan. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

Skibbereen siblings admit to being obsessed with becoming the best in the world

Seán O’Brien goes through some routines during a Leinster squad training session at  Rosemount, UCD. Photograph: Inpho

Tullow Tank needs to prove to Joe Schmidt that he is ready for daunting All Black challenge in Chicago

Stuart Lancaster: “I think Ireland should have won that series in South Africa and that was away from home without a lot of key players playing.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Former England coach says belief essential if world champions are to be toppled

John Delaney and his partner Emma English with Pat Hickey. Photograph: Getty

FAI chief confident investigation will find he had no role in Rio ticketing arrangements

Katie Taylor will not be defending her European Championship gold medal. She beat Estelle Mossley in the final in 2014 to secure her sixth title in a row. Photograph: Getty

Taylor has held talks with Eddie Hearn but is yet to make a decision over future

Ulster captain  Andrew Trimble: “I think anybody, certainly anybody in Irish rugby, who had any connection to Axel was a Munster supporter.” Photograph: Inpho

Earls will make case for a low-end suspension after dismissal against Glasgow

An email, signed by leading figures in tennis, has been sent to Sport Ireland (SI) and Tennis Ireland (TI) questioning the process Tennis Ireland used to select its new chief executive Richard Fahey. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

The letter – seen by The Irish Times – questions process in appointing Richard Fahey

England captain Martin Johnson shouts at an IRFU official after his team lined up on the wrong side before the start of the 2003 Six Nations rugby clash with Ireland in Dublin. Photograph Patrick Bolger/Inpho

Former England rugby coach among stars at One-Zero Sport Tech convention in Dublin

Lisnagarvey’s Jonny Bell will be in action against Pembroke Wanderers in the big clash at Serpentine Avenue. Photograph: Rowland White/Inpho

Serpentine Avenue hosts top game of weekend in the Irish Senior Cup

Dave McSharry in action for Connacht before he retired this summer. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Players left to make major career choice as insurance firms draw a line in sand

Paddy Barnes has been added to the St Patrick’s Day card at Madison Square Garden next year. Photograph: Getty

Joins fellow Belfast boxer Michael Conlan on bill in New York, with pro bow next month

The former Leinster, Connacht and Ulster scrumhalf Cillian Willis is suing his former club Sale Sharks for “clinical negligence”.

Union decline to says whether concussion is reason for hike in costs

Dan Carter gave urine sample following Racing 92’s Top 14 final victory over Toulon last season. Photograph: Romain Perrocheau/Getty Images

Racing 92 offer differing account after legendary outhalf returns positive drug test

Ireland captain and goalkeeper David Harte will be in Banbridge playing for Dutch side SV Kampong. Photograph: James Crosbie/Inpho.

12 top clubs at Havelock Park to compete in round one of Euro Hockey Leaque

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