Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus casts an eye on Munster training at the University of Limerick. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

While not behemoth they once were, under Erasmus province have rediscovered old threat

CJ Stander during the Lions’ suit fitting at the Hilton Syon Park Hotel, London. Each player is reportedly receiving €82,000 for the eight-week tour with a further €12,000 if they win the Series. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

South African focusing on Munster’s Pro12 semi against Ospreys after ‘special’ Lions day

Maria Sharapova has been denied a wildcard entry for the French Open. Photograph: Andreas Solaro/Afp

Ball in All England Club’s court over wildcard after brave decision from Roland Garros

Munster’s Andrew Conway goes past Tiernan O’Halloran of Connacht during their Pro12 clash. Photo: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Munster winger has been included in Ireland squad for summer tour but wants Pro12 title

CJ Stander and Conor Murray during Munster training ahead of their Pro12 semi-final clash with Ospreys. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Erasmus says Murray experienced enough not to engage in personal battle with Webb

Munster’s Tyler Bleyendaal will train with the team this week. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Rassie Erasmus: ‘Injury wise it is looking good with the 14 day turn around’

Munster’s Rory Scannell during the Champions Cup quarter-final against Toulouse. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Munster playmaker ready to claim Pro12 glory after Champions Cup disappointment

Scarlets’ head coach Wayne Pivac (left)spent three years living and coaching on Fiji. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Scarlets coach Wayne Pivac says motivation to move and earn more will remain

David Wallace, with support from Mick O’Driscoll, in action against Wasps:  “That bond, you have that for years. You leave and you are leaving that behind.” Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Retirement from the professional game a difficult transition for even the biggest names

 ‘Any historic ground with an atmosphere is great to play, but Lord’s has that little bit extra,’ says Gower, who  is now a Sky Sports commentator. Photograph:  Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Historic meeting says something about the subtle change in relationship

Former Connacht and Leinster winger Fionn Carr says getting into the World Rugby Sevens Series is the next goal for the Ireland setup. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Olympics the target as developing team aim to continue progress at European event

Anthony Joshua stopped Wladimir Klitschko in the 11th round at Wembley. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty

Heavyweight clash justifies the hype and more at a packed-out Wembley stadium

Katie Taylor celebrating winning WBA intercontinental lightweight title after beating German boxer Nina Meinke. Photograph: Lawrence Lustig/Inpho

Boxer’s manager also seeks to get her on the Ward v Kovalev rematch card in June

Anthony Joshua cemented his status as the world’s best heavyweight as he stopped Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley on Saturday night. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty

Wladimir Klitschko magnanimous in defeat after a heavyweight clash for the ages

Katie Taylor  in action against Nina Meinke  during their WBA Inter-Continental Lightweight Championship bout at Wembley Stadium in London. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Irish boxer set for Las Vegas fight in June before Dublin world title contest later in the year

 Katie Taylor celebrates victory over Nina Meinke in the WBA lightweight eliminator   bout at Wembley Stadium  in London. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Bray lightweight closes in on world title shot with seventh-round stoppage of Nina Meinke

 Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, fighting Henry Cooper at Wembley on June 18th 1963. It was Ali’s final fight before he won the heavyweight championship of the world against Sonny Liston in February 1964. Photograph: Central Press/Getty Images

90,000 fans will watch Watford heavyweight take on Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley

Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko during the weigh-in at Wembley Arena, London prior to Saturday night’s fight at Wembley Stadium. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA Wire

Joshua may go for early win, but if Klitschko weathers the storm he could gain the edge

Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko ahead of their  world heavyweight title fight at Wembley. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Eddie Hearn does best Don Draper impression during weigh-ins at Wembley Arena

Katie Taylor  poses with German boxer Nina Meinke   ahead of their WBA Inter-Continental title lightweight bout at Wembley. Photograph:  Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

Bray boxer will fight for lightweight title should she beat German rival at Wembley

Bernard Dunne: “I’ve been part of Jim’s [Gavin] team for four-and-a-half years. I feel it’s been a learning experience. I loved what I was doing.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The former world professional champion is the IABA’s new high performance director

New IABA high performance director Bernard Dunne chats to national coach Zaur Antia  at the National Sports Campus in Abbottstown.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

New high performance director unaware of split at board level

Munster’s Simon Zebo with his son Jacob after the European Champions Cup, semi-final match against Saracens  at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/PA Wire

Rassie Erasmus admits ‘mental flexibility or toughness’ needed in heat of semi-final

Simon Zebo is tackled by Schalk Burger during Munster’s Champions Cup semi-final defeat to Saracens. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Johnny Watterson runs the rule over beaten Champions Cup semi-finalists Munster

Dorothea Findlater at the presentation of the Wheeler Plate to Linda Caulfield, president of Dublin University Ladies Hockey Club. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Trinity graduate Doris de Courcy-Wheeler steeped in the history of hockey and society

All to play for in the men’s hockey Champions Trophy on the final weekend of the season. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Banbridge, Three Rock Rovers, Lisnagarvey and Monkstown the likely final four

Johnny Sexton will play in his second Liosn tour. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

Seven Irish players have been selected for their first tour in Warren Gatland’s squad

Katie Taylor will compete for her first professional belt at the end of the month in Wembley. Photograph: Inpho

She will fight on Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko undercard at Wembley Stadium

Barry Hearn: “Do you want to see a draw between all Chinese players? The system is there, if they are good enough.”Photograph:  Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Rise of the world’s newest superpower increasingly apparent in snooker

Referee Nigel Owens during Leinster’s quarter-final win over Wasps. Photograph: Inpho

French referee Romain Poite will be the man in the middle for Munster versus Saracens

Josh van der Flier in action against Castres: “Even coming back from injury you can’t afford a bad game because then you won’t play.” Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Flanker fully recovered from injury and fighting for a place in Leinster’s back row

Mark Tumilty: “We had a fantastic experience at Banbridge and are now focused on Eindhoven and the Racing game.” Photograph: Paul Walsh/Inpho

Irish clubs facing top-quality opposition in Euro Hockey League

Omar Hassanein: “We surveyed our players . . 75-80 per cent  of those surveyed voted in favour of keeping the seven-week model.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Organisation’s CEO Omar Hassanein says rest breaks essential for player welfare

Leinster’s Johnny Sexton  during the Champions Cup quarter-final against Wasps at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland outhalf is in favour of global rugby calendar but not at expense of players

 Johnny Sexton: “Every game is full on, pretty intense, so think the way it is now is pretty ideal. Trying to cram it down would compromise . . . you would see a lot more players missing out on games, basically, because a lot of those weeks are about getting ready for the next game. “

‘Playing it over five or six weeks would be tough going’

The Irish men’s Hockey team at the Rio Olympics last year. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Rio Review highlights financial constraints currently facing federation

John Treacy, chief executive, Sport Ireland: “We have to tier [resources] like every other country does. We are already doing it.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Review finds Ireland does not fund sport seriously and did not hit targets set for Rio

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Patrick O’Donovan made contact with the FAI on Wednesday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Made contact with FAI on Wednesday regarding issue over woman’s football team

Wasps’ Willie Le Roux appears to score a try in Saturday’s clash with Leinster, but  it was disallowed by referee Nigel Owens. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ireland flanker praises Leinster tyros who have played major part in regenerating team

Seán O’Brien’s display  for Leinster against Wasps in the Champions Cup quarter-final shows he is in rude health. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Backrower wants his place in Warren Gatland’s team to face New Zealand

James McGee of Ireland recently made the quarter-finals of the French Challenger. Photograph: Tom Dulat/Getty Images.

Conor Niland’s side will be looking to win promotion from Group III in Bulgaria

Munster’s Conor Murray tackles Toulouse’s Luke McAllister in the 2014 Heineken Cup quarter-final in Thomond Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

All Black has not enjoyed previous visits to Thomond – and doesn’t sound confident now

Eugene McGee:  his massive experience will prove an asset to Banbridge in the Irish Senior Cup final on Sunday. Photograph: Rowland White/Presseye/Inpho

Holders Monkstown up against a team that includes four of Craig Fulton’s Irish squad

Judy Reynolds and Vancouver K:  “He’s very intelligent which I believe has made him be a very good horse. He is also a fighter. He’s for you.” Photograph: Libby Law/Inpho

Kildare woman and her faithful steed making a big impact in the world of dressage

 Robbie Henshaw: the 23-year-old centre has more caps for Ireland (29) than he has for Leinster (nine). Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster centre ready to take on Wasps in the Champions Cup after Six Nations exploits

Rachael Kohler, left: “I love the big matches, the thrill of the cup final.” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Ex-Ireland captain and her sister-in-law Karen Bateman, also 42, ready for cup final

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

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