Ian Madigan, who has been named at outhalf for the Ireland Wolfhounds. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Irish team is full of Test players needing game time and returning from long injury

Ireland men’s hockey team are hoping to bridge a 67-year gap and be the first to qualify for the Olympic Games in a team sport since the soccer team did in 1948. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

It’s a big year for Irish hockey with both the men and women hoping to go to Rio 2016

Kieran Marmion: “Joe doesn’t really take any backward steps. When you are in here you really have to know what is going on. You have to know the detail. They won’t wait for you. That certainly does take some getting used to. You have to adapt quickly or else you get left behind.”

Injuries could open the Wolfhounds door for Connacht scrumhalf

Jack McGrath: “It’s a mistake I hopefully will never make again.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Leinster prop has ended three-week ban for stamping on Rory Best

Ian Madigan, who may play at outhalf on Friday for the Wolfhounds, will be looking to bounce back after uncharacteristically missing four kicks against Wasps. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster back has had limited time in position where there is now an Irish crisis

 Kieran Marmion breaks free to scores his Connacht’s opening try against La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup Round 6. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Joe Schmidt hoping Conor Murray and Eoin Reddan can recover from injuries

Lord Mayor of Belfast Nichola Mallon and Pro12 chief executive John Feehan. Feehan said “I am certain that we will sell it out even if there is no Irish team in the final, although, frankly I’d be quite surprised if there wasn’t”. Photograph: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Organisers are confident that Ravenhill final will sell out even without Irish involvement

Adam Nolan lands with a left in his welterweight title fight against John Joe Joyce during the   National Senior Elite Championships at the  National Stadium. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

Ireland captain unhappy at opponent’s use of head at National Stadium

Darren O’Neill: “That lad I’m fighting Friday night is very, very big for a heavyweight. He’s very muscular. I’ve a big task ahead of me.” Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Former middleweight champion takes on Ken Okungbowa in national final

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