James McCarthy with Milana Commons (aged two) at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin on Monday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Dublin midfielder among heroes of renown reconvening in Smithfield as the light declines

 Dublin manager Jim Gavin has a selfie taken with members of the Air Corps who flew over Croke Park before the game, including Capt Sean McCarthy, Cmdt Frank Byrne and Capt Enda Walsh. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin manager remains on message as three-in-a-row annexed

Dublin manager Jim Gavin and Bernard Brogan celebrate after the game. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin manager praises his side’s discipline after competing three-in-a-row

Kerry captain  David Clifford celebrates with the trophy and his team-mates after the All-Ireland minor football championship win over Derry at Croke Park. Photograph:  Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Captain scores 4-4 and shows why Kerry will make every effort to keep him

Kerry’s David Clifford  in action against Derry last year. Photograph: Tommy Greally/Inpho

Four-in-a-row chasing Kerry beat Derry in 2015 and 2016 in the outgoing grade

David Clifford: richly-talented Kerry minor seems sure to be targeted by Australian Football League clubs. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Impressive Kerry minor star could be lured like others to a career in Australian rules

Referee Joe McQuillan awards Mayo a penalty during the semi-final against Dublin in 2015. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Referee for Mayo-Dublin clash ‘will ref game in front of him’ despite history with fixture

Isa Nacewa (pictured) and Jamison Gibson-Park are to return to Ireland having been denied entry into South Africa due to visa regulations. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

New Zealanders Isa Nacewa and Jamison Gibson-Park fail to get entry visas

 Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper is to be honoured with an historic first ever testimonial dinner for a GAA player at the Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge, Dublin on Friday, October 27th. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Ex-Kerry star Cooper to be centre stage at event for 500 guests in Dublin hotel

 Jacob Stockdale  returns from an impressive summer tour with Ireland to take his place on the wing. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Les Kiss rejigs his backline as they face an injury hit Italian side

Southern King’s Kurt Coleman: one of the visitors auditioning to play in Europe. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Visiting South Africans have yet to prove they will not be whipping boys of Pro14

Leinster’s Seán Cronin on his way to scoring a try during the Guinness Pro 14 match against Cardiff Blues at the RDS. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

New frontrow paves way for barnstorming ending to clash against Cardiff Blues at the RDS

Brendan Murphy, former Offaly hurler and current Tipperary senior hurling team doctor, at the launch of the 2nd National Concussion Symposium, which will be held at Croke Park on October 7th. Photograph: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Brendan Murphy: medics must be ready to err on the side of caution and remove players

 Brian O’Driscoll  promoting the BT Sport line-up on the eir Sport Pack  at eir group headquarters. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Rory Best, Peter O’Mahony and Jonny Sexton all have the credentials to fit the bill

Marc Ó Sé and Anthony Daly at the eir Sport pack season launch.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Former Kingdom star says current boss remains the best man for the job

Alan Brogan and Conal Keaney at the launch of Ireland’s First Family SportsFest at the National Sports Campus. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ex-Dublin star believes Rochford’s side have forwards to trouble champions’ defence

Bernard Dunne: ‘The vision is to be the number one high performance team in the world.’ Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

On Joe Ward’s exposure: ‘The whole country should know his name, he is that good’

Martin Anayi, chief executive of  Guinness PRO14 Rugby. “You can continue making this tournament bigger, better, make it more relevant.” Photograph: INPHO/Gary Carr

Time will tell if other teams follow the Cheetahs and Southern Kings into Europe

 CJ Velleman (Southern Kings), Tommaso Castello (Zebre), Tiernan O’Halloran (Connacht) Dan Lydiate (Ospreys), Cory Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons), Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues), Ryan Wilson (Glasgow Warriors), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Dean Budd (Bennetton Treviso), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Isa Nacewa (Leinster), CJ Stander (Munster), Mark Bennett (Edinburgh) and Neill Jordan (Toyota Cheetahs). Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The revamped competition kicks off on Friday night with Ulster and Munster playing

 Iain Henderson (Ulster), Dean Budd (Bennetton Treviso), Ken Owens (Scarlets), Isa Nacewa (Leinster), CJ Velleman (Southern Kings), Mark Bennett (Edinburgh) and Cory Hill (Newport Gwent Dragons) at the launch of the Guinness PRO14 season at the Aviva. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

It remains to be seen whether new South African entrants add much to the mix

 New Zealand captain Fiao’o Faamausili,  raises the World Cup after victory over England in the final in Belfast.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Hat-trick of tries by prop Toka Natua helps earn New Zealand a thrilling final victory

Tyrone’s manager Mickey Harte before the game. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘Dublin were far superior today. That’s a fact we have to accept’

Con O’Callaghan scores Dublin’s  opening goal in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Tyrone at Croke Park. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Tyrone’s blanket defence torn asunder by Jim Gavin’s freewheeling side

Ireland’s Lindsay Peat waves to the crowd with her son Barra after the defeat to Wales in the  Women’s Rugby World Cup seventh-place playoff at  Kingspan Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Women’s coach expected to take up post in underage set-up

New Zealand celebrate winning the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup Finalafter beating England at  the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Black Ferns fight back from half-time deficit with stunning performance in Belfast

Ireland’s players react after Wales’ Carys Phillips scores a try. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Tom Tierney confirms he will no longer coach women’s side after latest defeat in Belfast

Coach Tom Tierney addresses the Ireland squad following the  5th Place play-off defeat to Australia at the Kingspan Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Irish international gives her version of events surrounding Ireland’s World Cup campaign

Scrumhalf Nicole Cronin has had an outstanding World Cup for Ireland. Photograph:   Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Players need to finish with a strong performance after miserable tournament

Head coach Tom Tierney addresses a dejected Ireland squad after the defeat to Australia at the  Kingspan Stadium, Belfast. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

‘We haven’t performed at this World Cup, absolutely’ – Paula Fitzpatrick

France’s Julie Annery is tackled by England’s Sarah Bern. Annery crosses the line but the try is disallowed. Photograph: Getty Images

USA test New Zealand but come up short, as England grind French into submission

Australia’s Hilisha Samoa scores their third try against Ireland. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Claire Molloy and Jenny Murphy injuries prove costly as downward spiral continues

Portia Woodman of New Zealand breaks clear from Lindsay Varty of Hong Kong to score a try during their pool match in UCD on August 13th.  Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

England look too strong for France in second World Cup semi-final at Kingspan Stadium

Ireland’s Ciara Cooney during practice ahead of her side’s second clash with Australia in Belfast. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

World Cup dream may be over but Belfast fixture begins a two-game salvage job

Christian Lealiifano has made a remarkable recovery after being diagnosed with leukaemia in 2016. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Wallaby international expected to arrive in Belfast once visa has been secured

Ireland head coach Tom Tierney dejected after the defaet top France. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Buck has to stop with Tom Tierney and director of rugby Anthony Eddy for failure to perform

 Bernard Laporte: “I think the fact we got 2024 shows clearly that there are security assurances that have been given.” Photograph:  Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

President of the French Rugby Federation is playing his own game to win the race for 2023

Ireland’s Lindsay Peat is tackled during the Women’s Rugby World Cup Pool C game against France at the  UCD Bowl. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Early three-try blitz at Belfield means World Cup hosts now playing for fifth place

Ireland’s Jenny Murphy  and Lindsay Peat during a training routine. “They have some world class players but we know how we can beat them.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Irish centre relishing the task of taking on France in a must-win showdown

 Marie Louise Reilly: her recall will add significantly to Ireland’s attacking options against France.  Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

If preceding games are to be any guide, French look well-equipped to make last four

Head coach Tom Tierney: “We just need to make sure we play the game of our lives against the French.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

'We just need to make sure we play the game of our lives against the French'

Ireland’s Sene Naoupu tackles Honoka Tsutsumi of Japan during the Women’s Rugby World Cup Pool C game at  UCD Bowl. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Tom Tierney’s side come from 14-0 down but know much more will be required to progress to semi-finals

Hannah Tyrrell celebrates Ireland’s opening victory over Australia. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Backline should get ample opportunity to show their talent against Japan

Ireland’s Claire Molloy takes on Australia’s Katrina Barker  and Liz Patu.   Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Tight group could come down to points’ difference in the end

Ireland’s  Eimear Considine  is tackled by Australia’s Katrina Barker a during the World Cup clash at Belfield. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Coach Tom Tierney will risk resting key figures with France game still to come

Sene Naoupu and Nora Stapleton celebrate Ireland’s hard-fought opening win over Australia. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Gutsy tournament hosts make life difficult for themselves but see off game Australia

Selica Winiata scored a hat-trick as New Zealand romped past Wales in their World Cup opener. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty

Black Ferns’ back-three of Woodman, Winiata and Wickliffe a sight to behold at UCD

Head coach Tom Tierney addresses the Ireland squad in a huddle during the captain’s run at UCD. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Experience can prove a vital asset in tough opening assignment against Australia

Dublin’s Eoghan O’Gara is challenged by Monaghan’s Dessie Mone at Croke Park.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Monaghan manager believes format will only prove of benefit to stronger counties

Tipperary’s Niall O’Meara  after the final whistle  of the  Championship semi-final in Croke Park. Photograph: INPHO/Tommy Grealy

Manager Micheál Donoghue says first half seemed to be bypassing Galway star

Galway’s Joe Canning scores the winning point despite the attempts of Noel McGrath and Niall O’Meara of Tipperary to block his shot during the All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

‘Big moments are defined by your big players. He really stood up to the mark’

Dublin manager Jim Gavin shakes hands with his Monaghan counterpart Malachy O’Rourke after their All Ireland quarter final at Croke Park. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Jim Gavin pleased with side’s win over Monaghan but frustrated with wasted chances

Bernard Brogan: “Bernard has shown great leadership this year both on and off the field,” said Gavin, Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Return of Macauley, Flynn and Cooper strengthens Dublin manager’s hand

Ireland’s Lynne Cantwell celebrates after beating New Zealand during the 2014 World Cup. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ex-player says that better coaching is the key to improving and growing the women’s game

Ireland women head coach Tom Tierney with captain  Niamh Briggs  and Lindsay Peat at UCD. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ten clubs have so far committed to scheme that seeks to attract extra 2,000 players

Former Armagh manager Paul Grimley: “The 2003 final and that semi-final hurt Armagh people a hell of a lot. When it came down to the crunch in both years Tyrone won those battles.” Photograph:  INPHO/Donall Farmer

Tyrone seem miles ahead of their fierce Ulster rivals in the hunt for the Sam Maguire

Ireland captain Niamh Briggs has been ruled out of the WRWC with an achilles injury. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Paula Fitzpatrick expected to take charge of side after fullback ruled out with Achilles injury

Lions secondrow Alun Wyn Jones takes a blow to the head in a tackle from All Blacks backrow Jerome Kaino during the third Test at Eden Park in Aukland. Photograph:  Hannah Peters/Getty Images

World Rugby may investigate Alun Wyn Jones’s temporary replacement of Sam Warburton late on in Auckland

Jordie Barrett scores his try against the Lions on his first Test start. Photo:  Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

Aaron Smith remains the best scrumhalf in world rugby while Retallick and Whitelock immense

Jonathan Davies tackles Jordie Barrett during the Lions 15-15 draw with the All Blacks at Eden Park. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty

Gavin Cummiskey runs the rule over the tourists after final Test draw at Eden Park

The Cheetahs are based in Bloemfontein, South Africa and will join the Pro14 league. Photo:  Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Cheetahs and Southern Kings will join the league from next season as it becomes Pro14

BT Sport presenter Craig Doyle  and pundit Brian O’Driscoll.  Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

TG4, RTÉ and TV3 all expected to engage in tender process for new rights package

Sam Cane puts in a hit for the All Blacks against the Lions. Photo: Andrew Cornaga/Inpho

Sam Cane excelled but Beauden Barrett misfired and SBW tarnished his legacy

Johnny Sexton’s selection at number 10 was justified as the Lions levelled the series in Wellington. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty

Gavin Cummiskey reviews the tourists after their second Test victory in Wellington

Maro Itoje produced another impressive performance as the Lions beat the All Blacks 24-21 in Wellington. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty

Sonny Bill’s rugby league roots, totemic Itoje, Barrett’s boot and Garces’ nerves of steel

Ireland’s fullback Andrew Conway eludes the tackle of  Japan winger Kenki Fukuoka  during the Test match in Tokyo. Photograph: kazuhiro Nogi/Getty

Impressive opening quarter lays the foundation for a convincing victory

Joe Schmidt and members of the Irish squad  in Japan. The successful tour has helped to blood fresh Irish talent.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Tour to USA and Japan has helped to identify future leaders within the Irish squad

Garry Ringrose goes over for the opening try of the game in Ireland’s win over Japan in Tokyo. Photo: Franck Robichon/EPA

Joe Schmidt’s side were always in control against Japan but struggled with the heat

 Akira Shimazu, CEO Japan Rugby World Cup 2019. Photograph:  Sportsfile/Corbis via Getty Images

Top teams will be required to play midweek games – just like the minnows

How Japanese  sports newspapers reporting on Japan’s win over South Africa in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.  Photograph: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty

Ex-Australia coach Robbie Deans confident country will host a memorable World Cup

Jack Conan: ““There is no ‘Aw, we’ll get through this and be on holidays.’ It is, ‘I am putting on that green jersey and I don’t know when there will be a next time.’” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Joe Schmidt’s side braced for a fierce effort from chastened Japan in second Test

Joe Schmidt: “Pete is smart as well as tough, and he’s athletic, which makes him the lineout operator that he is.”

Ireland coach pays tribute to Peter O’Mahony ahead of first All Blacks test in Auckland

“What the Lions are doing is very much a Saracens approach, to put a brand on it, and Saracens don’t get tipped over very often.”

Former Australia coach Robbie Deans expecting a tight series

Ulster’s Jacob Stockdale will make his second Test start against Japan. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Andrew Conway moves to fullback with Jacob Stockdale recalled for his second cap

Paddy Jackson: hasn’t missed  a kick atgoal for Ireland since Murrayfield last February. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Luke Marshall to come in at centre as full-strength Ireland face Japan in second Test

  Greg Feek: “I heard it this morning and a few of us just went, ‘Jeez, again?’ You guys probably thought the same thing. I feel sorry for Rassie in some ways.”

Ireland scrum coach can understand rumours but ‘feels sorry’ for Munster coach

“If it is true then we’re all proud of him here. For his family particularly. We’ll be watching with real interest in terms of how he leads the team.”

“He doesn’t say much but things he does say prickle the hair on the back of your neck.”

Ireland’s Paddy Jackson kicks a conversion in Saturday’s win over Japan. Photograph: Inpho

The Ulster 10 is the only fit Irish outhalf left on the squad, after Joey Carbery’s injury

Keith Earls was impressive again as Ireland routed Japan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Keith Earls inspires seven-try rout but discussion revolves around Gatland’s call-ups

Jack Conan: “I definitely feel the last two games, I’ve put my hand up and shown I can play at this level and I’m ready to push on.” Photograph: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

‘I like showing that I’m able to play at this level. I think while I’ll always have a bit of a grudge, and something to prove’

Girvan Dempsey has been shadowing Ireland coach Joe Schmidt. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Flying back now Leinster’s backs coach and has been shadowing Joe Schmidt in Japan

Ireland’s Keith Earls scores the first try of the game. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘For our guys, if they have missed an opportunity because of the logistics, it is tough’

Ireland’s Keith Earls scores his team’s seventh try of the game. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Porous Japan defence made to pay for errors as Joe Schmidt’s team score seven tries

Ireland rugby squad en route to  Hamamatsu. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘The locals are weirdly helpful. They’ll board a train with you to ensure safe passage’

Dan Leavy:  threatening to become Europe’s king of the breakdown. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Leinster scrumhalf makes his first international start along with Conway and Scannell

Cian Healy during Ireland training in Tokyo, Japan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Joe Schmidt ‘excited’ to see how inexperienced squad handle fatigue with eye on World Cup

Simon Zebo starts for Ireland against japan. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Coach admits preparations have been brief with tourists suffering from jet-lag

Ireland players and management pose for a photo with sumo wrestlers at Shikoroyama-beya in Koto-ward in Tokyo. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Simon Zebo and Andrew Conway also likely to feature in strong side for first Test

Niall Scannell in action for Ireland against the USA in New Jersey. “There’s no ‘touring’ mentality about it. We’d always go about our business.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Munster hooker relishing the prospect of Test duty for Ireland against Japan this weekend

Kicking coach Richie Murphy:  “Japan have turned themselves into a really good side. Play very fast and loose. “Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland coach Richie Murphy well aware of Japan’s threat in two Test series

Dr Martin Raftery, chief medical officer for World Rugby: ‘Dr Omalu is entitled to have an opinion but that’s exactly what it is, his opinion.’ Photo: Getty Images

Medical officer responded to claims by Dr Bennet Omalu that children shouldn’t play

 Joey Carbery has been ruled out of the tests in Japan with an ankle injury. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster outhalf sustained ankle injury during win over the USA last weekend

Joe Schmidt talks to the Ireland players during training ahead of the USA test last week. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘This tour is a fantastic learning and working experience for young players’

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt: “There are guys on standby, but what happens is when they go away on holiday as they normally would, they just take their boots and their gumshield.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Ireland coach says he is not going to give Joey Carbery a hard time after USA Eagles match

James Ryan  goes over for Ireland’s seventh try during the Test match against the US Eagles at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Young outhalf endures kicking nightmare as Ireland run in nine tries against hapless Eagles

USA outhalf AJ MacGinty passes the ball during Ireland’s win in New Jersey. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘Playing in a global competition, something like Pro12, would be superb’

Joey Carbery goes off with an ankle injury. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Outhalf rolled his ankle during win over the US Eagles in New Jersey on Saturday

 Ireland’s James Ryan scores a try just after his introduction in the second half. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Joe Schmidt’s side open their summer tour with comfortable win in New Jersey

Ireland’s Joey Carbery gets in some kicking practice at the Red Bull Arena, New Jersey. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Squad fully prepared for whatever the US Eagles can muster in New Jersey

Ronan O’Gara with Joey Carbery during a training session in  Hoboken, New Jersey. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former Ireland outhalf is enjoying learning from Joe Schmidt as he shadows him on US tour

 All Black captain Kieran Read performs the haka before the game against Wales last summer at Eden Park  in Auckland, New Zealand. Photograph:  Phil Walter/Getty Images

Former Ireland outhalf says ‘there’s a lot of hesitancy’ in Lions’ attacking game

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