Fiji winger  Nemani Nadolo in action for Montpellier against Leinster. “Over the years I just worked on my power. I’ve finally discovered I’m a big boy.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Hulking back will be sticking to his tried and tested method: running straight into contact

Fiji’s lock Leone Nakarawa and Italy’s Sergio Parisse during their  test match at the Angelo Massimino Stadium in Catania, Italy,  on November 11th, 2017. Photograph: Miguel Medina/Getty Images

Olympic Sevens gold from Rio has given Fijians a greater belief in themselves

 Mitch Darling:  he has not featured in the Ireland  side since the 2016 Rio Olympics, having taken a break.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dutch games to mark return of Mitch Darling and Peter Carruth to 20-man squad

Ireland back  Kieran Marmion during Ireland’s victory over South Africa last weekend. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Connacht back likely to be given run out against Fiji and gain his 18th cap for Ireland

Katie Taylor  with her WBA lightweight belt which she won last month. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

‘If she’s as relentless in the ring as she is on social media it should be a great fight’

Brothers in arms: Rob Kearney and Bundee Aki at Saturday’s  Guinness Series clash with South Africa at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Rob Kearney and the team closed ranks around Bundee Aki during his baptism of fire

Rob Kearney during Monday’s Ireland rugby press conference at Carton House. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

‘Fiji rested a few guys at the weekend, so they’re eyeing it up in some shape or form’

Darren Sweetnam made his Ireland debut off the bench in Saturday’s opening autumn international against South Africa at the Aviva Stadium . Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Former Cork hurler hasn’t looked back since deciding on a rugby career

  Bundee Aki takes a picture with his   daughter Adrianna Aki and family members after the match. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

After all the debate over his inclusion Connacht's Aki hit the high notes on his debut

Rory Best training with the Ireland rugby squad at Carton House, Co Kildare. Photograph:  Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland captain knows South Africa will be a test of his leadership, performance and nerve

South Africa  coach Allister Coetzee: “We need to adapt and there will be challenges Saturday.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Three changes made to side that lost to All Blacks by a point in Rugby Championship

Michael Watt had a 10-year career which began against Poland in July 2006. Photograph: Inpho

Belfast native retires with 201 caps and record of sixth highest scorer for his country

Tadhg Furlong and Jack McGrath face of during a Lions training session. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

24-year-old’s stock keeps rising with chance to prove himself further against huge Springboks

Bundee Aki and Conor Murray during Ireland training ahead of the November Series opener against South Africa. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

New Zealand-born player has come under fire for recent selection in Ireland squad

Jonathan Sexton and Devin Toner in the Ireland huddle ahead of training on Tuesday. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Jack Conan, Tommy O’Donnell and Dan Leavy are carrying knocks ahead of Saturday

Springbok captain Eben Etzebeth shakes hands with  coach Alister Coetzee following the Rugby Championship match     between the All Blacks and the South African’s   on September 16th, 2017, in Auckland which  the  New Zealand side won 57-0.  Photograph:  Phil Walter/Getty Images

Joe Schmidt has watched South Africa wrestle with retaining talent in recent years

Three Rock Rovers prepare to host Monkstown as in-form Glenanne face Annadale

Joe Schmidt with Simon Zebo following the win over New Zealand in Chicago last November. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland coach says there is no hard and fast rule regarding players who move abroad

Ulster forward Iain Henderson launches Canterbury’s “Rising Strength” video series, at Queen’s University, Belfast. Photograph:  Darren Kidd/Inpho/Presseye

Forward whose contract expires at end of season has had offers from outside Ireland

Newly crowned WBA female world lightweight champion Katie Taylor during her homecoming press conference at the Irish Film Institute in Dublin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

New champion has opted to fight again in December, possibly against Jessica McCaskill

Katie Taylor with manager Brian Peters (L) and promoter Eddie Hearn. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

New world champion likely to fight in London before Dublin homecoming next April

Ross Byrne at Leinster Rugby press conference.  Photograph:  ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

In wake of Zebo’s exit, young Ireland squad members eye 2023 as rare opportunity

Johnny Sexton is available for Leinster’s Pro 14 clash with Glasgow. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty

Seán O’Brien emerges from Ulster clash unscathed as Ryan and Reid undergo HIAs

Ireland and Munster scrumhalf Conor Murray at the launch of Vodafone’s “Who We Are is How We Play” campaign. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Scrumhalf says his friend should be given chance to play with Ireland in future

Dan Leavy: fit again and looking forward to pushing for a place in Joe Schmidt’s Ireland side. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Flanker fully recovered from ankle injury and looking forward to taking on Ulster

Benetton Treviso outhalf Ian McKinley in action against RC Toulon at the Monigo stadium in Treviso on October 21st. Photograph: Miguel Medina/Getty Images

Ireland outhalf expresses joy as former team-mate continues his rise after eye accident

Johnny Sexton scores Leinster’s third try in the European Rugby Champions Cup Round 2 game against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium last Saturday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster leader says he has no plans to take up Ireland captaincy for World Cup 2019

Tom Humphries: ‘He had the capacity to both charm and eviscerate, be worldly and erudite and also spiteful and petty.’ Photographer: Dara MacDónaill

Convicted abuser was centrally involved in Michelle Smith controversy

Leinster centre Noel Reid says tackling technique is key when coming up against bigger men. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Noel Reid says side will be working hard to combat issue ahead of Ulster clash

 Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing tackles steep and angry seas as they pass East Cape, the eastern-most point of New Zealand in 2015. Photograph: Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race via Getty Image

"It’s terrifying. It’s so hard it’s going to make the Olympics the easiest thing in the world”

Tadhg Furlong: “I still haven’t won anything. That is one of the things that motivate you to keep performing.”

After a summer with the Lions, Furlong slotting back into the groove with Leinster

Ireland’s Maurice Elliot celebrates with Shane O’Donoghue during a Test match against Pakistan in June. Photo: Mervyn McClelland/Inpho

Hockey Ireland needs help in how to sell healthy, drug-free World Cup-qualified teams

Katie Taylor will fight on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s bout with Carlos Takam in Cardiff on Saturday October 28th. Photo: Emily Harney/Inpho

Bray boxer will take on Anahi Esther Sanchez for the WBA lightweight title

“OCI accepts that these contracts were enforceable as between the parties and that THG fully intended performing its contractual obligations,” said the OCI statement.

The cost of undoing the controversial deal with ticket reselling company not revealed

Guest speaker and former professional boxer Frank Bruno on stage at Croke Park in Dublin. Photograph:   Patrick Bolger/Getty Images for One Zero

Paul Merson, Hope Solo and AP McCoy among the contributors at One-Zero event

Barry Daly scores Leinster’s fourth try in the  Champions Cup victory over Montpellier at the RDS.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Winger’s try count mounts as he grasps his Leinster opportunity with both hands

Girvan Dempsey: “What was massive for us is how the guys stepped up, particularly the young guys coming in.” Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Leinster in positive mood after young guns’ impressive display against Montpellier

USA boxing coach Billy Walsh at Sport Ireland HPX conference in Dublin.  Photograph: Diarmuid Greene

Billy Walsh lends advice to John Joe Nevin while Joe Schmidt disappoints at HPX event

Connacht’s John Cooney celebrates his try with Kieran Marmion last year. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Irish question is an intriguing back story to Pro14 clash between Connacht and Ulster

Conor Harte: (right)  in action for Racing Club de Bruxelles earlier this season. Photograph:  Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Ireland defender Conor Harte has captained the Belgian side this season

Marcell Coetzee’s time at Ulster so far has been constantly disrupted by injury. Photograph: Inpho

Ulster flanker has had various knee joint problems both before and since joining

Greystones golfer Paul Dunne  is congratulated by Shane Lowry on the final  day of the British Masters.  Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Greystones golfer puts on a majestic show of courage and poise to see off Rory McIlroy

Nick Winkelman, the IRFU’s head of athletic performance and science: “Everyone has a ceiling in terms of what their capabilities are.” Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

IRFU head of athletic performance says decision making and physicality are ‘trainable’

 Andrew Trimble during training ahead of Ulster’s clash with Zebre. Player will captain the province for his record-matching 221st appearance. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Unbeaten province have 10 international players returning for clash against Zebre

Ireland’s Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll celebrate winning gold at the 2017 World Rowing Championships in Sarasota, Florida. Photo: Detlev Seyb/Inpho

The three Skibbereen men lit up Sarasota in Florida to take home gold medals for Ireland

Connacht players during training ahead of their clash with Scarlets. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Province’s late collapse to Cardiff Blues last week yielded third defeat under new coach

Jonathan Bell of Ireland in action in Stormont.  File photograph: INPHO/Presseye/Rowland White

The first matches will finally be played in the national league after weeks-long standoff

Jonathan Sexton will start for Leinster on Friday at the RDS. Photograph: Ryan Byrne

He’s just nine points short of becoming the all-time highest Leinster points’ scorer

IRFU director of rugby  David Nucifora said the IRFU is  delighted to have got Joe Schmidt following intense pressure from New Zealand. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland coach resisted enormous pressure to take up All Blacks job before signing contract

Leo Cullen: “Neither of those players [Jamison Gibson-Park and Isa Nacewa] were in the starting XV so in terms of disruptions to the group it is pretty minimal.” Photograph: Mike Sheehan/Inpho

Return of several big names adds international freight to Leo Cullen’s side

Alex Wootton scored four tries in Munster’s last Pro14 outing against  Benetton Treviso. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Home side are slowly returning to strength but Bleyendaal’s inclusion will boost visitors

Bob Geldof: lending his voice to support Ireland’s bid to host 2023 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Actor Liam Neeson also supporting to Irish presentation before World Rugby officials

The Leinster squad during a training session this week in UCD, Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leo Cullen names team for Saturday, with New Zealanders to return next week

Nick McCarthy: Former Ireland Under-20 captain flying out to South Africa to join the Leinster squad. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Nick McCarthy South Africa-bound after Isa Nacewa and Jamison Gibson-Park visa mix-up

Hockey Ireland chief executive officer Jerome Pels. Photograph: Rowland White/Inpho/Presseye

Disagreement over payment of expenses leads to postponement of opening weekend matches

Jamie Heaslip during training last month: the Leinster number 8 has been ruled out for the games against the Kings and Cheetahs. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Forwards coach calls for big contribution from players travelling to South Africa

James Tracy gets up to speed during a Leinster training session at UCD. He broke into the Irish squad last year and was part of the Six Nations. Photograph: inpho

The Leinster hooker is ‘pumped’ for the Pro 14 journey to the Southern Hemisphere

Rob Kearney has been ruled out of Leinster’s two-match trip to South Africa. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland duo both ruled out of Pro 14 fixtures against the Cheetahs and Southern Kings

 Alberto Contador celebrates as he crosses the finish line. He earns his right to bow out on the summit with the gods.  Photograph: Jose Jordan/AFP/Getty Images

TV View: Terrifying L’Angliru climb and descent almost make the Irish man emotional

 Ian Keatley steps in for Tyler Bleyendaal in the only change from the opening win against Benetton. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ian Keatley returns at outhalf along with an experienced bench for the home side

Katie Taylor will fight in Cardiff at the end of October. Photograph: Inpho

Taylor’s promoter hoping to announce an opponent for world title shot next week

Leinster’s Jordan Larmour makes his home game debut Friday night against Cardiff. Photograph: Ashley Crowden/Inpho

Leo Cullen will pick his squad to face Southern Kings and Cheetahs on Monday

Joe Ward  after he received his silver medal following his AIBA World Boxing Championships final clash with Julio La Cruz. Photograph: Thomas Balke/Inpho/Pixathlon

Irish man says he’s had a ‘magnificent year’ despite losing to Julio La Cruz in Hamburg

Joe Ward leaves Hamburg with a silver medal. Photograph: Inpho

Cuba’s Julio César La Cruz seals a fourth world title after unanimous decision

Joe Ward in action in his World Chanpionships quarter-final - the Irish southpaw is through to Saturday’s 81kg final after a semi-final win over Uzbekistan’s Bektemir Melikuziev. Photograph: Inpho/AIBA

Split decision win over Melikuziev sets up Julio César La Cruz showdown

Former Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Analysis: Irish Olympic council could only take one route on the IOC ethics inquiry

Iain Henderson missed out on a Lions Test place but enjoyed an impressive tour. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland secondrow missed out on Test place but his Lions experience was a positive one

Ireland’s Joe Ward (red) in action during his quarter-final victory over Mikhail Dauhaliavets in   the World Light Heavyweight quarter-final victory in Hamburg. Photograph: Aiba/Inpho

Moate southpaw up against Uzbek fighter a Rio Olympics finalist at middleweight

Pat Hickey:  Mr Justice Moran outlined how Mr Hickey  governed the OCI since his election as president in 1989, and was highly critical of the way athletes and fans were treated regarding ticket allocations at  Rio last summer

International Olympic Committee ethics body seeks information about ex-Irish chief

Cheetahs captain Niell Jordaan and CJ Velleman of the Southern Kings at the Pro14 launch last week. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Getty Images

Niell Jordaan: ‘As soon as the opportunity came up to play Pro14 it all settled down’

 Leinster head coach Leo Cullen with Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman at the Guinness PRO14 season launch at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin earlier this month. Photograph:  Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty

The former Leinster player believes his side are in position similar to Connacht

Former OCI president Pat Hickey. on Tuesday the Oireachtas committee on sport agreed that a formal inquiry should be launched into Mr Hickey’s deal with ticket reseller THG. Photograph: Humberto Ohana/AFP/Getty Images

Board to agree to forward copy of report into ticketing scandal to IOC ethics body

Joe Ward goes into Friday’s semi-final with a bronze medal already secured. Photograph: Inpho

Moate southpaw, who is only remaining Irish interest, won with his second 5-0 decision

 Conor McGregor polarises and is clever enough to know that if you do that you will always get around a solid half supporting you. Importantly you will sell. Photograph: John Locher/AP (

Popular attention and how much cash you can generate begets a claim to legitimacy

 Christian Lealiifano at the Kingspan Stadium: “I’m humbled that a team still values what I can produce and what I can do.” Photograph: Matt Mackey/Presseye/Inpho

Christian Lealiifano is set to bear a heavy load in absence of Jackson and Olding

 Rassie Erasmus: “Apart from the traditions of the game, I really think the game off the field is almost like any other career.” Photo:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Coach adamant Munster’s squad is now stronger than the one he inherited last year

Munster’s Rassie Erasmus (second left) and Leinster’s Leo Cullen (third left) with their fellow coaches at the launch of the 2016/17 Guinness PRO14 season at the  Aviva Stadium in  Dublin.  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leo Cullen says Lions contingent unlikely to be available for Southern Hemisphere trip

Sport Ireland chairman Kieran Mulvey, former president of the Olympic Council of Ireland Pat Hickey and its current president Sarah Keane. Photographs: Collins/The Irish Times

Former OCI president struck fear in politicians who in turn sought to avoid conflict

Ireland’s Hannah Tyrrell is comforted by friends after the defeat to France in the Women’s World Cup at the UCD Bowl. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Captain Claire Molloy: ‘They were just able to run around us in the first half too easily’

Pat Hickey, former president of the Olympic Council of Ireland:  his arrangement with the THG/Pro10 ticket resale companies has impacted on Irish athletes looking towards the Tokyo games in 2020. Photograph: Alan Betson

Shane Ross says OCI run like a ‘fiefdom’ and ticketing issue will direcly affect funding

Ireland players Jack Conan, Joey Carbery and Rhys Ruddock. Canterbury, official kit supplier to the Ireland Rugby team, has unveiled the new Ireland Rugby jersey for the 2017/18 season. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Leinster man hoping to vie with mentor Jamie Heaslip for the Ireland No 8 jersey

For the umpteenth time, OCI president Sarah Keane has stepped forward to answer questions about her predecessor.  Photograph:  Tom Honan

What we found, through no fault of Judge Moran, were things we knew in the 1990s

Ireland’s Alison Miller celebrates scoring her side’s first try against Japan at the UCD Bowl. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Supporters put through the wringer again before hard-earned victory is eked out

England’s  Emily Scarratt  is tackled during the clash against Spain who proved no match for the world champions. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

RFU’s decision to end funding of reigning World Cup holders rankles with players

 Magali Harvey: Canada’s flying winger  scoring one of her five tries against Hong Kong. Photograph: Oiin Keniry/Inpho

Former runners-up Canada should prove too strong for Wales in their clash

Ireland’s Claire Molloy and Australia’s Katrina Barker (left) and Liz Patu during the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup Pool C match at the UCD Bowl, Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Players would prefer longer recovery time enjoyed by men’s game, but ‘it is what it is’

Paula Fitzpatrick celebrates Ireland’s opening World Cup win over Australia. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

3,500 fill the UCD Bowl to see tournament hosts battle their way to Australia win

Australia captain Shannon Parry.  Photograph: ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Shannon Perry leads Australia’s best prepared team ever as it bids for top four slot

 IRFU plaque. ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Move follows testing of schoolboy players in New Zealand

Ireland captain Claire Molloy: “We don’t need to worry about how much. It just has to be a win.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland’s new captain clearly focused on the need for an opening win over Australia

The Women’s Rugby World Cup: tournament will see an unprecedented amount of anti-doping testing. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

This year’s competition will be the most-tested of any to date

Katie Taylor during the weigh-in for her fight in Brooklyn, New York, against Jasmine Clarkson. Photograph: INPHO/Emily Harney

Irish fighter could make undercard of possible Joshua- Klitschko rematch in November

Katie Taylor with Jasmine Clarkson during Saturday’s fight in Brooklyn. Photograph: Emily Harney/INPHO

Latest win shows word has got around that Irish boxer is toxic to a lightweight career

Sinead Lohan during her match against Jodie Burrage in the women’s singles final at the AIG Irish Open Tennis Championships at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club, Ranelagh. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Sinead Lohan makes it to final but loses out to Britain’s Jodie Burrage at Fitzwilliam

Katie Taylor stopped Jasmine Clarkson in the third round in New York. Photograph: Getty

Taylor justifies 1-200 odds as she stops Jasmine Clarkson in the third in New York

 Ireland’s Sinéad Lohan plays a forehand during her final with  Jodie Burrage of England at the AIG Irish Open  at Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club in  Ranelagh, Dublin. Photograph: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Irish player loses in straight sets to England’s Jody Burrage at Fitzwilliam

 Lemsip Max Cold and Flu Powder, which can be bought over the counter, was  the most commonly searched product by Irish athletes in 2016. Photograph: Alan Weller/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Lemsip and Nurofen the top most researched products of a long list of 3,510 items

Katie Taylor: having trouble lining up quality opponents as she plots a route towards a world title tilt.

Irish boxer will add another fight to her schedule after Jasmine Clarkson bout

Simon Carr in action during his victory over Hugo Grenier in the  Irish Open  at  Fitzwilliam. Carr has qualified for the main draw of the US Junior Open. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Prizemoney and ATP points on offer at Futures event mean a lot to Irish professionals

Kerry’s Brendan O’Sullivan. John Treacy said his  case highlighted the inadequacy of the anti-doping code

Council ‘open for business’ if GAA is willing to contribute to user-pays test system

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