Owen Farrell gets to grips with Ireland captain Rory Best after a George Kruis try at Twickenham. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Alan Quinlan’s wishlist unanswered with England scarily pragmatic about their win

Dan Leavy at Vodafone’s “Ireland’s Ball” launch event in Ukiyo-e. ““The physical side, the pain’s nothing. All the chat’s about the World Cup and that’s pretty hard to deal with sometimes.”

Leinster flanker making good progress from the knee injury which dashed his World Cup dream

Seán O’Brien with the Pro 14 trophy after Leinster’s victory over Glasgow Warriors at Celtic Park  back in May. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

‘We have a responsibility to uphold ourselves to the highest possible standards’

 Leinster Women head coach Ben Armstrong during training. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Ben Armstrong’s side will play directly after their male counterparts at Donnybrook

James Lowe underwent surgery following last season’s Pro14 final against the Glasgow Warriors. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Leinster sees a number of injured players return including Penny, Daly and Byrne

James Lowe is hopeful of being back in action in time for Leinster’s first Pro 14 game at the end of September. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Winger underwent shoulder reconstruction following Pro 14 final

Namibia and head coach Phil Davies celebrate their Africa Gold Cup victory after beating Kenya in 2018. Photograph: APO Group/Getty

Tournament’s lowest-ranked side are set for their sixth-consecutive appearance

Stuart Hogg will carry Scotland’s main threat in Japan. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Gregor Townsend’s side can take it to anyone but look potentially lightweight up front

Matthew Vaea passes the ball during Western Samoa’s win over Wales at the 1991 Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Simon Bruty/Allsport

Pacific Islanders will present a physical threat but lack quality of previous sides

Russia’s players line-up before a European Rugby Championship match against Belgium in Sochi in February 2019. Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty

Bears to appear at their second World Cup after qualification rivals were docked points

Sergio Parisse is appearing in his fifth Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

The Azzurri have been lumped with a tough group but can continue steady progression

Japan captain Michael Leitch. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty

Tournament hosts will be hoping for a repeat of their famous win over Springboks in 2015

Joe Schmidt’s golden Ireland tenure ends after the Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Joe Schmidt will be hoping injuries are kind are he bids to depart on a high in Japan

Canada celebrate securing the final place in Japan after victory over Hong Kong. Photograph: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty

Victory over Hong Kong secured a RWC place with Namibia match looking finely poised

Brian O’Driscoll and Jamie Carragher    launch Sports Extra on Sky on Wednesday.  Photograph: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Former Ireland captain praises golfer for ‘climbing his Everest’ in the British Open

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in his first full season in charge at Old Trafford. Photograph: Andrew Yates/AFP/Getty Images

Getting there, tickets and accommodation: all you need to know for this season opener

There has been a fall off in golfers taking individual lessons, with more taking part in group lessons.

Three club professionals talk about the massive changes in their trade over the past decade

Shane Lowry with his caddy Brian Martin. “Bo has been incredible the last year. He’s brought a new lease of life to me. He is so thrilled. He was unbelievable today.” Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Brian ‘Bo’ Martin ‘was great at keeping me in the moment today. He’s been great for me’

Shane Lowry at Royal Portrush Golf Club. His three-round total of 197 is the lowest  in the history of the British Open.  Photograph: Matt Mackey/Inpho

He spreadeagled a field of quality with a blemish-free round of eight birdies and 10 pars

British Open Champion Shane Lowry of Ireland celebrates with family and friends on the 18th green at Portrush. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

The Irishman’s final round at Portrush on Sunday as he won the British Open title

Rory McIlroy slautes the crowd after his second round 65 at Portrush. Photograph: Richard Sellers/PA

Home favourite takes it all in as he falls one stroke short of the cut despite a defiant 65

 Tommy Fleetwood of England reacts after his birdie on the 18th at Royal Portrush. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Fleetwood makes the most of benign conditions to set clubhouse target at Portrush

US golfer Tiger Woods reacts after finishing the 18th hole during the first round of the British Open. Photograph: Getty Images

The US Masters champion is more susceptible to niggles in colder conditions

 Ireland’s James Sugrue during the first round of the British Open at Royal Portrush. Photograph: Ian Walton/Reuters

British Amateur champion finishes first round on level par

Shane Lowry on the fifth hole during the first round of the British Open at Portrush. Photo: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Offaly native lights up Portrush after Darren Clarke got things underway at 6.35am

 Australia’s Adam Scott with his caddie during a practice round at Royal Portrush on Wednesday. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Veteran caddie Rodich knows all there is to know about Royal Portrush’s challenge

Bryson DeChambeau tees off from the 16th at Portrush during practice on Monday. Photograph:  Mike Ehrmann/Getty

The course’s 236-yard par three 16th is dazzling and dastardly in equal measure

A sign welcoming visitors to Portrush for the Open at Royal Portrush Golf Club. The club was founded in 1892, and  received its  royal imprimatur  the same year. Photograph: Liam McBurney/PA Wire

County Down, Belfast, Dublin and Curragh also got a royal honour

 The presence of former England captain Andrew Strauss and Aussie great Shane Warne lit the touch paper for Sky Sports coverage of the Cricket World Cup. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters

Cricket World Cup far more engaging than softly, softly approach at Wimbledon

The Ireland rugby squad during their  open training session in  the Sportsgrounds, Galway. Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Conor Murray knows it is possible to come from periphery to make a World Cup squad

The tradition of summer racing at Bellewstown dates back centuries. File photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Bellewstown festival in Meath could provide ideal warm up for Galway Races extravaganza

Brittany Lang hits her approach shot to the 18th green at Killeen Castle in 2010. The club have brought in nine-hole membership in a bid to attract new players. File photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Courses forced to be flexible with days of mammoth entrance fees largely in the past

Simon Yates descending  the Col du Galibier during the 2017 Tour de France. File photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

We’ve taken a sample stage and costed an itinerary that should ... leave you breathless

Ireland  fans at the Rugby World Cup game against Australia at Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand  in 2011. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Thousands of Ireland fans are expected to travel to the Land of the Rising Sun

Can Roger Federer win a ninth Wimbledon title? Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/ Getty Images

Getting to London is straightforward but be prepared to join a few queues

 Cyclists taking part in the  Ring of Kerry cycle.  Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Charity cycles an ideal way to help stay fit over the summer months

Ireland’s Ryan Baird celebrates his try with Charlie Ryan and Josh Wycherley in their defeat to New Zealand in the World Rugby U20 Championship. Photograph: Pablo Gasparini/Inpho

Slow start against New Zealand let Ireland down, but plenty of positives from campaign

Ireland’s Ryan Baird celebrates his try with Josh Wycherley during the  World Rugby U20 Championship seventh-place playoff against New Zealand  in  Rosario. Photograph:  Pablo Gasparini/Inpho

Noel McNamara’s side mount comeback from 26-0 down before running out of steam

Ireland’s Brian Deeny in action in the U20 Championship. He   replaces number eight Azur Allison for their final game. Photograph: Pablo Gasparini/Inpho

McNamara makes seven changes for final assignment at U-20 World Championship

Ireland’s David Ryan is tackled during the World Junior Championship match against England. Photo: Pablo Gasparini/Inpho

Noel McNamara’s side will now face New Zealand to determine seeding for next time

Head coach Noel McNamara addresses the Ireland squad after the victory over Italy in Santa Fe, Argentina. Photograph: Pablo Gasparini/Inpho

Both teams much-changed from the sides that started the original pool clash

Ireland head coach Noel McNamara addresses the squad  after the victory over Italy in Santa Fe. Photograph: Pablo Gasparini/Inpho

Congested fixture schedule in Argentina meaning injuries are mounting up

Ireland’s Rob Russell scores a try against Italy. Photograph: Pablo Gasparini/Inpho

Noel McNamara’s side face England in fifth to eighth place semi-final next Monday

Ronan O’Gara is to join La Rochelle as head coach. Photograph: Andrew Cornaga/Inpho

42-year-old leaves coaching role with Canterbury Crusaders to join Top14 outfit

Ireland’s Ryan Baird who received a red card for a high tackle against Australia, has avoided a suspension. Photograph: Pablo Gasparini/Inpho

Team need bonus-point victory to have chance of making last four at World Championship

Ryan Baird has escaped suspension following his red card against Australia. Photograph: Pablo Gasparini/Inpho

Stewart Moore and John Hodnett head home but Ryan Baird has escaped suspension

Ireland U-20 players celebrate the victory over England  in Santa Fe, Argentina. Photograph:  Amilcar Orfali/Getty Images

Coach McNamara makes two enforced changes for the clash with Australia

Irish rugby captain, Rory Best, takes the Emerald Warriors through their final training session ahead of Europe’s biggest LGBT+ inclusive rugby tournament which takes place in Dublin this weekend. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Biennial LGBT+ tournament takes place this weekend at Dublin City University

 Jake Flannery of Ireland celebrates with his teammates after their win over England Under-20s. Photograph: Amilcar Orfali/Getty Images

Grand Slam champions win their opening game of the Junior World Championship

Ireland U-20 players celebrate Cormac Foley’s try against England during the Six Nations victory  in Cork. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Despite some injury woes, McNamara’s Six Nations winners remain in confident mood

Ted Hill:   made his full England debut against Japan in the November internationals.  Photograph:  Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Holders France once again strong contenders to win their group and reach semi-final

Ireland’s Craig Casey in action against France’s Arthur Vincent. “We will back ourselves against any team we come up against.” Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Under-20 scrumhalf has been immersed in Munster rugby from his earliest years

Ireland’s Dylan Tierney-Martin and Colm Reilly celebrate the Grand Slam-clinching victory over  Wales in Colwyn Bay, Wales. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Six Nations champions’ hooker looking forward to World Junior Rugby Championships

Munster CEO Garrett Fitzgerald has stepped down after 20 years. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Longest serving chief executive in Irish rugby has held position at the province since 1999

Martin Moloney will miss the Under-20 World Championships in Argentina due to a knee injury. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Flanker Martin Moloney and secondrow Brian Deeny join long list of absentees

Stuart Hogg: “There are strengths and weaknesses in Leinster’s attack and defence and the same with us.” Photograph: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Departing Glasgow Warrior wants to make sure his team takes home Pro14 trophy

Scott Fardy (right) with Leinster clubmate Cian Healy and Munster’s Conor Murray  (left) at the RDS last weekend. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Leinster’s Australian eager to swap watching hurling for playing rugby in soccer cathedral

Leinster’s Johnny Sexton celebrating after the Pro14 semi-final against Munster at the RDS. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Devin Toner to miss Leinster’s Pro 14 final against Glasgow due to a knee injury

Leinster’s Tadhg Furlong, Sean Cronin and Cian Healy argue as Munster win a scrum penalty in their Guinness Pro14 semi-final at the RDS, Dublin, last Saturday.  Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Cian Healy, Tadgh Furlong and Sean Cronin combined for opening try against Munster

Leinster backs coach Felipe Contepomi during Monday’s press conference at UCD. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

‘We don’t drop him, we all agree and are in the same boat and Johnny is one of them’

Munster outhalf Bill Johnston is joining Ulster. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

He was on the Ireland team that reached the 2016 U20 World Championship final

 Devin Toner limped off in the Pro14 semi-final on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The Leinster and Ireland secondrow will have a further medical assessment this week

Leinster’s Josh van der Flier in action against Munster in the Pro14 semi-final at the RDS. Photograph:  Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Leinster flanker ‘incredible’ in semi-final win despite it being his first game since surgery

Leinster’s Josh van der Flier and Robbie Henshaw tackle Tadhg Beirne of Munster during the Guinness Pro 14 semi-final at the  RDS. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

‘In terms of a role model for other players to look to and how you manage yourself, he does an amazing job’

Ulster’s Stuart McCloskey with Dave Heffernan of Connacht in their Guinness Pro14 quarter-final match at  Kingspan Stadium, Belfast on May 4th. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Ulster centre has been outstanding, but he needs to convince Joe Schmidt

Ireland’s Scott Penny is among four Grand Slam winners to miss the World Championships. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Harry Byrne, Scott Penny, David Hawkshaw and Conor Phillips out of U-20 World Championships

 Leinster’s Jamison Gibson-Park and Josh van der Flier are available to face Munster at the RDS. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Duo recovered from injury and available to face Munster at the RDS

Leinster’s Jordan Larmour tries to escape the clutches of Billy Vunipola of Saracens during Saturday’s Champions Cup final at St James’ Park. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leinster winger absorbs lessons of loss to Saracens ahead of Munster meeting

Josh van der Flier is expected to be fit for Leinster’s Pro14 clash with Munster. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Jamison-Gibson Park also expected to be ready for Saturday’s Pro14 clash at the RDS

Saracens’ Sean Maitland brings the Heineken Champions Cup into the dressing room after the game. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Leinster can have no complaints after their decision making lets them down

Jonathan Sexton at a Leinster training session in UCD during the week. Photograph: Inpho

In some respects the two competitors are mirror images in terms of qualities

Owen Farrell at St James’ Park ahead of Saturday’s Champions Cup final. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

John O’Sullivan looks at the English Premiership side ahead of Newcastle finale

Joe Rokocoko reckons Leinster will have enogh to see off Saracens in the Champions Cup final. Photo: Dave Winter/Icon Sport

Greening of Saracens part III, Morrow has Saracens in train, numbers game, team talk

Alex Goode has carried the ball more than any other  Saracens player in this year’s  European Champions Cup. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

James Ryan and Maro Itoje lead the way for either side when it comes to the numbers game

Paddy Johns in action for  Saracens  during a  match against  Leicester at Enfield in August 1996. Photograph:  Dave Rogers/Allsport

Sexton’s Wembley wonder show; last of the tickets; Sarries chase record; team talk

Wayne Barnes is one of 12 referees selected to officiate at the Rugby World Cup in Japan. Photo: Getty Images

Wayne Barnes and Nigel Owens are selected for their fourth consecutive tournament

Saracens’ Darragh O’Mahony in action in the English Premiership in  2004. He played 142 times for the club. Photograph:  Warren Little/Getty Images

Munster native Darragh O’Mahony’s proud record with Saracens

Cork Constitution players celebrate after their victory over Clontarf in the final of the All-Ireland League Division 1A at the Aviva stadium. Photograph:   Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Clontarf left to rue a number of missed opportunities in Aviva stadium decider

Enniscorthy RFC celebrate after beating Wicklow to win the Bank of Ireland Provincial Towns Cup. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

The Wexford club will enter senior rugby ranks next year for the first time since 1927

Cork Con outhalf Aidan Moynihan has contributed 144 points this season. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

14 of Trinity’s matchday 23 will take exams on Saturday before heading south

Clontarf’s Michael Courtney is set to line out on the wing for their AIL semi-final clash with Lansdowne. Photo: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Home side will have to decide whether to play the match on grass or artificial pitch

Niall Scannell during Munster training. The province can still secure a home semi-final with a bonus point win over Connacht. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Final conference games take place this weekend with playoff spots still up for grabs

Joey Carbery lifts the Ulster Bank League trophy in 2016. Photograph: Colm O’Neill/Inpho

There’ll be plenty to admire in Dublin and Cork this weekend in end of season playoffs

Leinster’s Seán Cronin leaves the field injured, during his team’s Champions Cup semi-final victory. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster hooker will undergo further assessment to establish the extent of damage

 Shane Lowry and his caddie are caught in a small sand vortex on the fairway of the fifth hole during the final round of the RBC Heritage tournament at Harbour Town Golf Links. Photograph:  Joshua S Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

His double bogey on the 12th proves to be particularly punishing

Munster’s Niall Scannell takes on Edinburgh’s WP Nel during the Heineken Champions Cup quarter final at Murrayfield. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Hooker says province must trust in work they have done to get over the line against Saracens

Billy Vunipola of Saracens breaks with the ball during the Champions Cup semi -final win over Munster  at the Aviva Stadium in  2017 in Dublin. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Province have lost six of seven in which they failed to score first try and were trailing at half-time

Ulster tighthead prop Marty Moore has been ruled out for the rest of the season. Photograph: Craig Watson/Inpho

Jacob Stockdale sustained a hamstring injury in the same game against Edinburgh

Tyler Bleyendaal: “He is a great man, a very good rugby player, he understands the game of rugby and  we are very lucky to have him,” said Munster coach van Graan. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Munster coach and fellow players united in appreciation of the outhalf’s leadership skills

Peter O’Mahony during a Munster squad session at University of Limerick ahead of Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final against Saracens. Photograph: Inpho

Munster captain believes Johann van Graan has enhanced province’s attacking threat

Joey Carbery during a Munster training session at UL. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Keith Earls and Jean Kleyn are expected to return to training

Munster head coach Johann van Graan and CJ Stander celebrate  their 7-13 Champions Cup victory over Edinburgh at Murrayfield.  Photograph:  ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Munster head coach delighted with his team’s victory over Edinburgh at Murrayfield

 Munster’s Keith Earls celebrates scoring their first try with teammates in the province’s narrow Champions Cup quarter-final win over Edinburgh in  Murrayfield Stadium, Scotland. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Johann van Graan’s side come from behind against Edinburgh to claim hard-fought win

Munster head coach Johann van Graan celebrates the victory  over Edinburgh  at Murrayfield with his son Wyatt. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Head coach thanks Munster support after his side book a third straight semi-final spot

Munster’s Keith Earls celebrates after scoring his try in the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final at  Murrayfield. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Brilliant defensive performance backs up opportunist strikes from Ireland winger

Tadhg Beirne: his ability to force turnovers of considerable value  for  Munster. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Other figures add up to a difficult assignment for the visitors at Murrayfield

The Irish players sing the national anthem ahead of the fifth and final Six Nations match against Wales in Colwyn Bay. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Ireland’s Under-20s secured just a second Six Nations Grand Slam in history. This is their story

Club disappointed with appeal ruling but accept they breached ‘material benefit’ rule

Welsh referee Ben Whitehouse took charge of Leinster’s clash with Edinburgh. Photograph: Inpho

It’s important to recognise the role of clubs in Ireland’s Under-20 Grand Slam triumph

Ulster’s Marcell Coetzee in action in their win over Leicester Tigers in the Champions Cup in January. The player returns for Ulster for the first time tonight. Photograph:  Gary Carr/Inpho

Five changes see Dave Shanahan come in at scrumhalf and the return of Marcell Coetzee

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