Chief executive of Pro12 Martin Anayi. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Plans also afoot to reduce number of games and increase participation of internationals

Former Connacht, Leinster and Ulster player Cillian Willis is set to sue Sale Sharks over a concussion injury. Photograph: Inpho

Case will the first time a professional rugby player has sued over head trauma

Kerry’s Tommy Walsh with Michael Fitzsimons and Cian O’Sullivan of Dublin. Stopping O’Sullivan will be key to Kerry’s chances of victory. Photograph: Inpho

Tomás Ó Flatharta says Éamonn Fitzmaurice will be pragmatic in All-Ireland semi-final

The eldest of the three brothers, Seamus O’Shea gets to grips with Tipperary’s Ciaran McDonald during the All-Ireland semi-finals. Photograph: Inpho

Eldest of the three Seamus says side need to produce longer periods of dominance

Tipperary manager Liam Kearns says he is proud of his team. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

After the game captain Peter Acheson confirmed that he was emigrating next year

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford during the All-Ireland football semi-final against Tipperary on Sunday. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho.

Manager Stephen Rochford just glad to have All-Ireland final to look forward to

 Dominic Ryan is tackled by Joe Latta during Leinster’s pre-season win over Gloucester. Photograph: Inpho/Gary Carr

Leo Cullen’s experimental side score four tries in Gloucester friendly at Tallaght

OCI President Pat Hickey is escorted from hospital on Thursday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Failure’s easier to interview than success - Cheerleader or journalist. There’s a fine line

 Canterbury has revealed the new Leinster alternate jersey to be worn away from home throughout the 2016/17 season. Photograph: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

New Leinster centre says he has greatly benefited from using a sports psychologist

Dublin football manager Jim Gavin. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Dublin manager claims game would benefit from pre-match meetings with officials

 Leinster’s Jordi Murphy with participants at the Leinster Rugby Camp at Blackrock College RFC. Photograph: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Healy is back in training and O’Brien could return in time for the Champions Cup

Mike Ford at the RDS last January where his side Bath lost to Leinster in the Champions Cup. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Surprise departure of New Zealander means province must find a new defence coach

Leinster defence coach Kurt McQuilkin is to return home to New Zealand due to personal reasons. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Province will be without key international players for start of season

Tipperary’s Michael Quinlivan: “It’s great to be sitting here and talking about playing in an All-Ireland semi-final.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Tipperary star says team looking forward to their big semi-final bow in Croke Park

Ger Cunningham: “You saw the standard last weekend, they are the top four and we have to make sure that gap doesn’t get any bigger.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former Cork star says the aim is to close the gap with top four counties

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody: “There is just no limit to what that man can do.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Kilkenny manager praised by Ger Loughnane after semi-final win over Waterford

 Galway’s Joe Canning feels the effects of a thunderous hit by Tipperary’s Pádraic Maher during Sunday’s semi-final at Croke Park.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

“We don’t fear Kilkenny, we never did,” says inspirational Premier County stalwart

Tipperary manager Michael Ryan praised his team’s fighting spirit. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

‘We were bit slower than we’d like, we have plenty to work on. But we will.’ - Michael Ryan

Munster hurling championship opener against Cork this May was Kennedy’s senior hurling debut for Tipperary. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Talented footballer Séamus Kennedy lines out for hurlers in Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final

Waterford’s Noel Connors shakes hands with Walter Walsh: “I think we’ve been a team that has been maybe tarnished with a brush for the Munster final.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Waterford defender believes his side can rise to the required level once again in replay

 Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly was sent off following this challenge on Anthony Thompson of Donegal last weekend – having being booked earlier on. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Referees opting for two yellow cards when top talents targeted via off-the-ball tactics

Ollie Canning is tipping Tipperary to beat his own county Galway on Sunday. Photograph: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile.

Former Galway favourite has unsettling view for his county on All-Ireland semi-final

Waterford’s Maurice Shanahan reacts towards Shane Prendergast of Kilkenny after scoring a point during the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship semi-final at Croke Park. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

After Sunday’s draw against Kilkenny, Waterford have a second chance at victory

 Donegal’s Eamon McGee has retired from inter-county football. Photograph:   Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Donegal corner back follows Colm McFadden into retirement

Job done: Aidan O’Shea is congratulated by Mayo manager Aidan O’Shea after the victory over Tyrone. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Versatile talisman inspirational again in the defeat of Ulster kingpins Tyrone

Dublin manager Jim Gavin was unhappy with Diarmuid Connolly’s dismissal for two yellow cards against Donegal at Croke Park. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin manager claims opponents are deliberately trying to provoke forward

Semi-final replay will take place in Thurles at 6.45pm next Saturday evening

Neil McGee and Eoghan O’Gara clash in the incident which resulted in the Dublin number 26’s red card. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Donegal attacker Colm McFadden announces his retirement after quarter-final defeat

Tyrone’s Sean Cavanagh and Lee Keegan of Mayo clash before the start of the second half. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

‘It seems a shame he is the victim of somebody else enticing him into that kind of arena’

Pete McGrath: “I still think the more they dilute the sudden-death nature of championship the less exciting it becomes” Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Fermanagh boss says round-robin in last eight will rule out Tipperary-style upsets

4GAA president Aogán Ó Fearghail and director general Paraic Duffy announcing plans to restructure the football championship at Croke Park. Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Croke Park’s plan is to condense fixtures, with provinces hosting most of extra games

GAA President Aogan O’Fearghail and GAA Director General Paraic Duffy at Thursday’s media briefing. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Each separate motion would need two thirds majority, that cannot be adopted until 2018

James McCarthy has been declared fit to play against Donegal in the All-Ireland quarter-final against Donegal. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin manager makes no reference to seismic defeat to Ulster side in 2014

Dublin manager Jim Gavin at Wednesday morning’s press conference for the upcoming All-Ireland quarter-final. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

‘We never put any player under any pressure to get back. It is the medical team’s choice’

 Graham Henry watches on during a Leinster training session at Greystones RFC, Dr Hickey Park. “If you can pass on some of that experience about what helped you get better – it must be a positive, hopefully.” Photograph: Sportsfile

Former All Black coach assesses what the coaches are doing in their development

 Graham Henry at aLeinster Rugby open training session at Greystones RFC, Co. Wicklow. Photograph: Inpho

Former All Blacks coach also favours prohibiting stealing possession on the ground

Tipperary captain Peter Acheson, pictured with manager Liam Kearns after Sunday’s quarter-final victory over Galway: “I’m the third-oldest player and I’m only 26 but the young fellas, they are brave out. They go for it, which suits our style of play.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

‘All the lads believe we can win, says Peter Acheson, ‘that won’t change for the semi-final’

Donegal’s Paddy McBrearty slips by Cork’s Eoin Cadogan during the All-Ireland qualifier at Croke Park on Saturday. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

Kilcar marksman was on fire against Cork, and when he gathered he pointed

The last 80,000-plus gathering in Croke Park was for the National Football League final between Dublin and Kerry, with Tyrone and Cavan in the Division Two decider, on April 24th

All tickets that went on public sale for Dublin versus Donegal and Tyrone against Mayo are sold

The 2014 All-Ireland semi-final: Donegal 3-14 Dublin 0-17 was arguably Jim McGuinness’s greatest moment as a manager

From the 2004 Fermanagh v Armagh quarter-final to 2014’s Tipp v Dublin semi-final

Tipperary manager Liam Kearns with Peter Acheson at the end of the game. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Liam Kearns reflects on his Tipperary team’s famous quarter-final victory over Galway

Kerry Manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice watched his team reach yet another All-Ireland semi-final. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Eamonn Fitzmaurice and Colm Collins react to Sunday’s result and turnout at Croker?

Louis Mulqueen: Clare selector has been involved with  Clare county teams for many years. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Louis Mulqueen, Donal Óg Cusack and Paul Kinnerk offer a wealth of experience

James McCarthy: athletic defender has played a huge role in Dublin’s success in recent years. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin camp have yet to clarify how long Ballymun Kickhams man will be ruled out

Wexford’s Matthew O’Hanlon: “We were delighted to get over the line and prove we have it within us to win a big championship game.” Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Model County now targeting a first All-Ireland semi-final appearance in 12 years

Clare manager Davy Fitzgerald may miss his side’s All-Ireland quarter-final clash with Galway due to undergoing tests in hospital after feeling ill. Photo: Inpho

The 44-year-old was moved to Dublin for additional tests after feeling ill on Tuesday

Waterford captain Kevin Moran: “We are still in the All-Ireland series; we can still put in a huge performance against Wexford.” Photograph:  Lorraine O’Sullivan/ Inpho

More questions than answers linger for Waterford hurlers after trouncing by Tipp

Tyrone captain Seán Cavanagh: “We became men today . . . we have been knocking at the door in Ulster for the past few years but got no breaks.” Photograph:  Andrew Paton/Presseye/Inpho

Tyrone are now a maturing side with silverware to show for it, says manager

The Dublin team celebrate with the cup. After beating Westmeath for a sixth Leinster title in a row. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Brave first half effort but fitness levels and quality of the hosts echoes around Croker

IRFU chief executive Philip Browne during Friday’s agm at Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho.

IRFU chief believes move may be viable in bid to counter fiscal imbalance with English clubs

Munster Ian Keatley kicks at goal in front of a scant crowd during the European Champions Cup Round 5 tie against Stade Francais in January. Photograph: Ryan/Byrne.

Downturn of results and decrease in crowds seen as underlying problem for province

Irish Olympic boxer Paddy Barnes has questioned Rory McIlroy’s reasons for missing the Games in Rio next month. Photograph: Inpho

‘Tell the truth: There is no prize money to be made from the Olympics for a golfer. That’s it’

John Delaney: said the FAI, which now owes €35 million, can be debt-free by 2020.  Photograph:  Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

John Delaney says without businessman’s contribution ‘ it just wouldn’t be possible’

Rory O’Carroll in action against Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea during last year’s  All Ireland senior football semi-final replay. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Dublin full back to squeeze some football in to his busy travelling itinerary

John Delaney has said private funding is vital to the reappointment of Martin O’Neill as Ireland manager. Photograph: Sportsfile

Ireland manager and assistant Roy Keane set to sign new contracts until 2018 World Cup

Galway’s David Burke. Photograph: Tom Beary/Inpho

County face Clare in All-Ireland quarter-finals with pressure on Joe Canning and co

RTÉ are contractually obliged to show the Leinster decider from Croke Park (throw-in 4pm) after the Ulster final between Donegal and Tyrone at 2pm.

MacHale Park switch means the Galway-Roscommon match clashes with Leinster final

“The main thing is to keep my heart rate down. I am not running at a hundred miles an hour to the free. The free will be taken when I am good and ready, I suppose.”

Like his father before him, Dublin’s free taker inspired by high pressure situations

 Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt is a man in demand. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

‘I’ve been made aware of the fact there’s the potential for him to look at moving home’

Clare’s Colm Galvin and David McInerney in action against  Graeme Mulcahy of Limerick during the All-Ireland SHC round two qualifier at Semple Stadium in Thurles. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Limerick made a game of things at times but Banner class prevails in Thurles qualifier

Meath are slightly better off than Derry after a Leinster semi-final against Dublin that would have looked like a contest to the untrained eye. Photograph: Inpho

Cork look to restore some pride against Limerick while Monaghan, Kildare and Laois should also get back on track

TJ Reid says “whatever needs to be done will be done” to win another All-Ireland final. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Hurler of year believes whichever team works harder will prevail in Thurles

Waterford’s Austin Gleeson dominated the third instalment of the Clare affair in this season’s Munster championship. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Déise’s new talisman eager to make up for last year’s Munster final loss to Tipperary

Waterford hurling manager Derek McGrath with former Tipperary All-Ireland captain Eoin Kelly. Photo: Sportsfile

All-Ireland winner admits his county will miss long-range accuracy of John O’Dwyer

Former Ireland captian Brian O’Driscoll at the launch of Eir Sport: the company also secured the rights to the under-20s championship and the woman’s World Cup. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Eir launches its rebranded Setanta channels as it announces six-channel sports pack

Luke Fitzgerald was forced to retire from rugby last week after a career ravaged with injuries. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The 28-year-old was forced to retire from the game last week after one injury too many

Eir Sport have won the rights to the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Getty

Just 13 fixtures including Ireland’s pool games will have to be on free-to-air television

Cork: “They beat Clare in the championship last year so they have match-winners when they are on the ball,” says JJ Delaney.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Former Kilkenny stalwart says Rebels need to change tactics to reward loyal home fans

 Waterford  manager Derek McGrath: “It’s about constantly challenging yourself to be better every time you go out.” Photograph:  Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Waterford manager an advocate of the core hallmark of Brian Cody’s Kilkenny

Racing 92 skills coach Ronan O’Gara will relish returning to Munster in the Champions Cup. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Champions Cup draw puts focus on provinces’ failure to attract top overseas players

The stage is set for the 2016-2017 EPCR European Rugby Champions Cup & European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool Draws. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Leinster could join Pro 12 champions in the top tier when draw is made on Wesnesday

Luke Fitzgerad: suffered a litany of series injuries which curtailed the number of Test caps he won to 35, one more than his dad, Des. Photograph: Alan Betson

Class act has paid a high physical price for his early exposure to the professional game

Notre Dame’s Tyler Eifert catches the ball in the end zone for a touchdown in the last American Football college game played in the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The sport’s governing body in Ireland has concerns about insurance for the event

The GAA may opt to show Ireland versus France on their big screen on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho

To avoid free fall in attendance France match will be shown live before Leinster semi-final

Jeff Hendrick nearly gave Ireland the lead in the first half with a fizzinf left footed effort. Photograph: PA

Gavin Cummiskey rates Martin O’Neill’s side after a famous win over the Azzurri in Lille

Ireland denied series win at Ellis Park as South Africa power play in final quarter snatches victory

Martin O’Neill must have shed a tear on learning the seriousness of Jon Walters achilles injury. He constructed a finely balanced, effective, workmanlike starting XI that simply could not afford to lose even one key figure.

A tough day for Martin O’Neill’s side as Belgium hand out a footballing lesson in Bordeaux

Graham Henry: the New Zealander brings a wealth of experience to his coaching activities. Photograph:  David Rogers/Getty Images

Leo Cullen behind the idea to enhance his own and his coaching team’s development

Dublin hurler Gary Maguire,  footballers Denis Bastick,  Jonny Cooper and fellow Dublin hurler Mark Schutte. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Goalkeeper reluctant to discuss Conal Keaney’s ‘tactical shambles’ view

Ireland’s goalkeeper Darren Randolph jumps for the ball during the Euro 2016 group E football match between Ireland and Sweden at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis on June 13, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / PHILIPPE LOPEZPHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images

Gavin Cummiskey assesses the Irish performances after the 1-1 draw with Sweden in Paris

 Meath captain James Toher  makes his victory speech following the Christy Ring Cup final ‘victory’ over Antrim at Croke Park. Photograph:  Tom Beary/Inpho

Christy Ring Cup final to be replayed despite Meath having initially claimed the cup

“I never believed in getting beaten and trying to keep the score down,” says Clare manager Colm Collins. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Clare manager believes provincial competition is past its sell-by date

Meath’s James Toher with the Christy Ring Cup. The final against Antrim will be replayed on June 18th. Photograph: Inpho

Embarrassing error saw Meath awarded trophy despite game finishing as a draw

Colm O’Neill: “The players have to drive it. At the end of the day you have to look in the mirror.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Gifted forward aiming to help Rebels overcome Tipperary in tricky Thurles test

Darren Hughes in action for  Monaghan against Down. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Presseye/Inpho

Darren Hughes says teams left in Ulster championship will provide sterner challenge

Bundee Aki was named player of the season in the Guinness Pro12 this season. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt met Connacht’s Kiwi centre after Pro12 final

Kieran Hughes of Monaghan shoots past Joe Murphy of Down in their Ulster SFC quarter-final. Photo: Andrew Paton/Inpho

Another uneven match in the provincial championships saw Down crushed in Clones

Karim Benzema  poses with Marcel Desailly following the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid at the San Siro. Photograph: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

World Cup winner defends ex-team-mate Deschamps from racism allegation

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Ireland coach expects Connacht lock to add physical presence for tourists in South Africa

Matt Healy celebrates scoring Connacht’s third try during the Guinness Pro 12 Final at Murrayfield on Saturday. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht winger set to cap dream season with spot on South Africa tour

Republic of Ireland midfielder Harry Arter slides in to tackle Kevin Strootman of the Netherlands during the friendly international at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Aidan Crawley/EPA

Bournemouth midfielder makes big statement in bid to make final 23

Roscommon  full back Neil Patrick Collins, who studies fashion. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Sacrifices are getting steeper for players who want to realise their sporting ambitions

London taking on Mayo at Ruislip in the Connacht SFC quarter-final in 2011. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Connacht champions should be forewarned thanks to memories of 2011

Tyrone’s Matthew Donnelly gets away from  Derry’s Brendan Rogers during the Ulster Senior Football Championship match at Celtic Park. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Presseye/Inpho.

Manager suggests Derry were not emotionally ready for game against Tyrone

Derry’s  Chrissy McKaigue remonstrates with referee David Goldrick after being shown a red card at Celtic Park. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Presseye/Inpho.

Ravenous defence and swift counter attacks form basis of comprehensive win

Tyrone’s Cathal McShane gives Derry’s Gareth McKinless the slip during the Ulster SFC quarter-final at Celtic Park. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho/Presseye

First-half goals put Mickey Harte’s side out of sight at Celtic Park

After struggling for much of the season Leinster blitzed the team that had impressed

Former Donegal manager says teams need to target centre back Cian O’Sullivan

Dublin’s David Treacy says team are aiming for a consistent level of performance in this summer’s championship. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

David Treacy understands why so many players have chosen to concentrate on football

Tipperary’s Barry Heffernan in action against Galway in the  league in March. Photograph: Mike Shaughnessy/Inpho

Young wing back misses chance to make championship debut against Cork

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