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

 Keith Earls  in action during Ireland’s disappointing defeat to Scotland in the opening  Six Nations match at Murrayfield. Photograph: Inpho

Munster winger conveys sense of pain the Ireland squad feels in the wake of the defeat to Scotland

A  St Munchin’s College player is taken to an ambulance after being injured in the Munster Schools Junior Cup quarter-final against Presentation Brothers College Cork at Musgrave Park on Wednesday. Photograph: Larry Cummins

Boys from Limerick school recovering well after being discharged from hospital in Cork

CJ Stander at an Ireland rugby press conference in Carton House. Photo: Inpho

The South African who died of Motor Neurone Disease gave Stander his first contract

Josh van der Flier during Ireland training at Carton House on Monday. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Italians made things tough for Wales and will do so again in must-win game for Ireland

Robbie Henshaw with a dejected Conor Murray and Paddy Jackson after Ireland’s opening Six Nations defeat to Scotland. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

Centre suggests indiscipline and nerves were to blame for slow start at Murrayfield

It remains unclear whether Johnny Sexton will feature this weekend. Photograph: Inpho

‘At this stage no one is out of contention, hoping everyone will be in with a chance’

Craig Fulton: “We have made some really good progress as a team and there were some strong performances from the younger players.” Photograph: Inpho

Ireland achieve draw and a win against France, and a draw and a defeat to Spain

Ireland hockey player Ronan Gormley this week reached  250  caps in Ireland’s 1-2 defeat to Spain. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ireland star can take tally to 257 if he plays in all of his side’s World League matches

Ireland winner Simon Zebo at an Ireland squad training at  Carton House, Kildare. “If I go with my gut instinct nine times out of 10 I feel like it’ll come off,” he says. Photograph: Inpho

Munster and Ireland winger lauds Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber for new approach to his game

CJ Stander believes Munster could have offered Conor Murray greater protection against Glasgow Warriors. Photograph: Inpho/Dan Sheridan

Ireland will come across plenty of familiar faces from Glasgow in Scotland opener

Jonathan Sexton has been ruled out of Ireland’s opening Six Nations encounter with Scotland at Murrayfield. Photo: Inpho

Paddy Jackson is expected to take kicking duties while Peter O’Mahony is also out

 A beaming Roger Federer  lifts Australian Open trophy at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne. Photograph: Lukas Coch/EPA

Swiss genius claims 18th grand slam title in a triumph that will resonate like no other

 Venus  and Serena Williams: the sisters  have not played against each other since the 2015 United States Open, when Serena won, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.  Photograph:  Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

As sisters do battle for 28th time, Serena seeks to break Steffi Graf’s title record of 22

Ireland’s Katie Taylor was due to have her third professional fight in New York on St Patrick’s weekend. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

She’s expected to fight on undercard of Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko fight

Ireland stand for Ireland’s Call. Who  decided it would remain part of the rugby experience and force fed to 50,000 people before every home Six Nations Championship match. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

A sop to the Ulster players who won’t sing Amhrán na bhFiann, Ireland’s Call is wrong

Craig Fulton: “We are really looking forward to playing World League 2 in Belfast. The main goal is to qualify for the World Cup and this is the first step in that process.” Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Craig Fulton’s side face France and Spain as they focus on Stormont challenge in March

Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy. Photograph: Eric Luke

Oireachtas committee hears how quest for success is undermined by funding shortages

BrainScope’s new device that could potentially be used to diagnose traumatic brain injuries in the field. Photograph: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

BrainScope says product will allow doctors to carry out objective pitch-side assessment

 JJ Hanrahan is to return to  Munster after two seasons with Northampton. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Chris Farrell and James Hart also sign two-year deals with province

Rory Best in action during their defeat to Exeter during the European Champions Cup Pool Five defeat. Best will again see action   against Bordeaux Bègles. Photograph: Getty Images

Ulster v Bordeaux Bègles, Kingspan Stadium, Saturday, 1pm, Live Sky Sports 3

Ireland coach Craig Fulton’s squad will be the host nation for the World League 2 tournament, the draw for which has been announced. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Ireland squad drawn in pool with Austria, Ukraine and Italy for World League 2 fixture in March

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

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