Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton: Brian O’Driscoll expects both players to feature in Ireland’s opening game against Scotland.  Photograph:  Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Former Ireland legend believes Farrell will initially stick to tried and trusted names

Mike Catt: part of Andy Farrell’s coaching team. Photograph: Dan Mullan/Getty

Former World Cup winner will bring that experience to the role of Irish attack coach

Kellie Harrington: won gold for Ireland in the lightweight final at  the  AIBA World Women’s Elite Championships.  Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Of the 24 athletes who received maximum funding of €40k, 12 are women

Shane Ross was speaking at Sport Ireland’s announcement of a €36 Million investment in Tokyo 2020 preparations. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Minster for Transport, Tourism and Sport reiterated no danger to Euro 2020 games

Leinster’s James Lowe offloads as he is tackled by Lyon’s  Noa Nakaitaci and Xavier Mignot during the Heineken Champions Cup at the RDS. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Eligible to play for Ireland from next summer, the Leinster winger continues to impress

Ross Canning (right) is one of three Three Rock Rovers players in the Ireland squad for the  EuroHockey Indoor Championship III in Santander, Spain. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Ireland open their campaign against Wales in Spanish city of Santander on Friday

Andrew Porter: “This is my club. This is my home, and it’s great to be pushing for that number one spot.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The Leinster prop has 23 Irish caps and understands how quickly the landscape changes

Leinster’s Ross Byrne is tackled by Francisco Gómez Kodela of Lyon in their Heineken Champions Cup Round 5 game at  RDS  Arena in  Dublin last Sunday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Johnny Sexton, Ross Byrne, Ciaran Frawley and Harry Byrne all playing to their strengths

Ireland’s Jonathan Bell  discusses a video review with the referee that led to Canada being awarded a penalty shot  with no time left during the second half of the FIH Men’s Olympic Qualifier match at Rutledge Field in Vancouver. Photograph: Darryl Dyck/Sportsfile

Ireland men’s side lost out on penalties after Canada scored late equaliser in Vancouver

Johnny Sexton will not feature for Leinster this weekend. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Lock James Ryan is the other Leinster and Ireland injury doubt for this weekend

Ulster fullback Will Addison goes off injured during the Heineken Champions Cup match away to Clermont Auvergne. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ulster duo both hobbled out of Ulster’s defeat away to Clermont Auvergne

 The Sportsground, Galway. Connacht Rugby have secured €20 million in grant funding for its redevelopment.   Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Allocation of €10m in sporting grant soon topped up with another €10m from obscure fund

 The Sportsground in  Galway will be redeveloped into a modern stadium with a capacity of 12,000. The current pitch will be replaced with synthetic grass.

RDS and Sportsground receive funding of €20 million

Ireland’s Ali Meeke will be part of the Ireland squad for the European Indoor Champsionships. Photo: Joe Toth/Inpho

Ali Meeke and Naomi Carroll will be some of those hoping to impress Sean Dancer

Jordan Larmour: “The more game time you get in a certain position, you will feel more comfortable.” Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Under the new Ireland management team, contenders are eyeing up fresh opportunities

Brandon Miele has been banned for two years after a case brought by Sport Ireland. Photo: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Midfielder failed to provide a full sample in April 2019 while playing for St Pat’s

Senior coach Stuart Lancaster at  Leinster rugby squad training at Energia Park, Donnybrook on Monday.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Coach says squad is focused solely on tough Pro14 and Champions Cup matches ahead

Johnny Sexton is a doubt for Leinster’s match against Benetton in less than two weeks. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Irish outhalf recovering from knee injury and will not play for Leinster against Lyon

Johnny Sexton is unlikely to play again ahead of the Six Nations. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

James Ryan facing a fitness battle ahead of Leinster’s Champions Cup clash with Lyon

 Katie Taylor   celebrates winning her gold  medal at the  London 2012 Olympic Games. Photograph: Scott Heavey/Getty Images

All that glitters is gold for Katie Taylor as she experiences her hallelujah moment

Former Ulster outhalf Paddy Jackson in action for his latest club London Irish. Photograph: Harry Trump/Getty Images

Fergus McFadden does his talking on the pitch as high vis vests shine in Galway

Sanita Puspure: was  named The Irish Times/Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year Award winner for 2019. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Inadvertent trip to Islandbridge reignited the future world champion’s passion for rowing

Sanita Puspure, dual world champion in the single sculls: “I find [I have] a more efficient way to move the boat, which gives you a second every 500m which is four seconds over the 2,000 metres, which is a massive margin.”  Photograph: Detlev Seyb/Inpho Games in Tokyo

Sportswoman of the Year: Latvian-born 38-year-old now a real medal prospect in Tokyo

Rob Kearney: experienced Ireland international will man the fullback berth for Leinster against Ulster at the RDS. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Coach says veteran fullback has plenty time to play himself back into Farrell’s plans

Tommy O’Brien: the 21-year-old gets a first start with Leinster when he partners Robbie Henshaw in the centre against Ulster at the RDS. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cullen’s blend of of youth and experience likely to prove too strong for Ulster

 Shane Lowry celebrates winning The Open Championship in Portrush on July 21st, 2019. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Katie Taylor remains Ireland’s most admired sportsperson for third year in row

India and South Africa are the only teams with a lower current world ranking than Ireland in their Olympic pool. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland have a day’s rest before they then face the world number one Dutch side

Shane Ryan, Jack McMillan, Mona McSharry and Danielle Hill in Glasgow. Photograph: Giorgio Scala/Inpho

Glasgow European Championships showed Ireland’s consistent development in the pool

Ruby Walsh’s final race saw him win the Punchestown Gold Cup on Kemboy. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

12-time champion jockey knocked out four times during golden career which ended this year

Jacob Stockdale moves to fullback for today’s visit of Harlequins in Pool Three. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

John Cooney hoping to add his fourth try in four games against Harlequins

Leinster’s James Ryan celebrates victory over Glasgow in last season’s Pro14 final. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Leinster lock ‘honoured’ to be considered for role many believe he is ideally suited for

Ireland hockey goalkeeper David Harte is hoping to secure a place on the IOC Athletes’ Commission. Photograph: Inpho

Two-time World Hockey ’keeper of the Year seeking place on IOC Athletes’ Commission

Cian Healy on Leinster’s returning internationals: ‘We came in to train first. We didn’t come in just to jump into a position. We had to work into game minutes and that was the pressure that was there.’ Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster prop prepared for tough Northampton contests as season kicks up a gear

John Jackson and Michael Robson training with the Ireland senior men’s hockey team at the  National Sports Campus, Abbotstown.  Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Men’s squad heading to Santander in January for the Euro Indoor Championships

Leo Cullen rings changes with an eye on the back-to-back European games with Northampton from next weekend. Photograph: Inpho

Coach has an eye on back-to-back European meetings with Northampton

Connacht’s Bundee Aki celebrates Tom McCartney’s  try against Montpellier in their European Challenge Cup match at the    Sportsground, Galway.  Photograph: Inpho

Ireland centre has signed a new central contract to remain at province for three years

Conor O’Shea at the launch of N-Pro Headguard. Founded in Galway, N-Pro is the first headguard of its kind to be approved for global  trial by World Rugby and  to be used in competitive games at all levels. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Speculation suggests former Italy coach bound for a position within the RFU

Marius Gallagher: served as president of the Leinster Branch from 1990 to 1992 and then president of the Irish Hockey Union from 1995 to 1997.

Former umpire went on to serve the sport with distinction in an administrative capacity

John Cooney is  at scrumhalf and is joined in the backline by the returning Craig Gilroy and Robert Baloucoune (above), who is set for his first start of the season. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Pro14 preview: Ulster v Scarlets, Kingspan Stadium, 7.35pm (Live Premier Sports 1

 Former Nenagh Ormond and Glenstal Abbey player Ben Healy  in training at University of Limerick. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

Pro14 preview: Munster v Edinburgh, Musgrave Park 7.35pm (Live Eir 1)

Leinster’s Johnny  Sexton celebrating a  try against Lyon which was later disallowed. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Leinster leave France with pride and the knowledge it is the small things that count

Leinster’s Max Deegan is tackled by  Mickael Ivaldi of Lyon at Stade Matmut de Gerland in  Lyon, France.   Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho

Deegan scores the only try in a game where the French side were pointless at the break

Luke McGrath kicks the ball clear during the Heineken Champions Cup match against Lyon at  Stadium de Gerland. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leinster head coach praises his side after battling display in France

Leinster’s Josh van der Flier attempts to break away from Virgile Bruni of Lyon during the Heineken Champions Cup match at  Stadium de Gerland. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leo Cullen’s side put in a brilliant defensive showing in victory in France

Lyon’s trainer Pierre Mignoni: ‘We’re building the team and we’re building our history.’ Photograph: Thierry Breton/AFP via Getty Images

The coach has patiently built up his team – and they may be ready to break their duck

Devin Toner and Tadhg Furlong training at Donnybrook. Furlong returns to the starting line-up in France while Toner must settle for a place on the bench. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Cullen’s side packed with knowledge of these difficult assignments in France

The best mix in terms of keeping hockey  strong across the island has always been a couple of Munster teams, C of I and Harlequins, three or four Ulster teams, and three, four or five Leinster teams. Photograph: Getty Images

Next season’s league could become a 10-team all-Ireland competition with eight of those teams from south Dublin

Dwayne Peel: “We know they [Clermont] have done pretty well in the Top 14. They are coming off the back of a big win and they have a big history in this tournament.” Photograph: Jonathan Porter/Inpho r

Lock Carter and Lyttle also set to miss clash against star-studded French Top 14 outfit

Irish hockey captain David Harte.

Harte name was put forward by the Olympic Federation of Ireland

John Ryan in action against Edinburgh in last year’s Champions Cup quarter-final at Murrayfield. “I feel like I only got started. I’ve been around since 2011 but I only really kicked on when I was 28.” Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Gutsy Munster prop hasn’t allowed a debilitating condition limit his rugby ambitions

Tyler Bleyendaal: will assume outhalf duties for Munster on their visit to Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Among five changes, Murray and Earls return for their first game since the World Cup

Thierry Weil: “Umpires need the support and respect of everyone, in line with the values which depict our sport.” Photograph:  Sergei Fadeichev/

Little prospect of Olympics reprieve as FIH CEO stresses need to support umpires

Leinster’s Rhys Ruddock: ‘I had my week of feeling sorry for myself and mulling things over.’ Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Flanker is focused on what is ahead of him rather than what went wrong in Japan

Tyler Bleyendaal in action in the Guinness PRO14 match between Munster and Ulster at Thomond Park, Limerick, last Saturday. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Munster fly-half puts injury woes behind him and could start against Ospreys this weekend

Peter O’Mahony training with the Munster squad in Limerick. “It’s a different animal in Europe. These are different animals. They consider us different animals.”  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ireland forward’s appetite undimmed for Champions Cup clash against Ospreys

Munster’s JJ Hanrahan goes down with an injury during the victory over Ulster last weekend.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Johann van Graan: 'We’ll give him every chance possibly for this weekend'

Munster’s JJ Hanrahan is set to miss the weekend’s Champions Cup clash with Ospreys. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Injury leaves room for New Zealand born Tyler Bleyendaal to start against Ospreys

Stuart Lancaster: “I know there’s been a lot of noise about Ireland not doing well, but we shouldn’t forget how much Joe has done for Ireland.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Former England coach says there is no one system that is right and one that is wrong

Robbie Henshaw: has returned to training for Leinster’s clash against Benetton  on Saturday. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Squad boasting six wins from six in the Pro14 now strengthened by returning World Cup contingent

Robbie Henshaw was a late withdrawal from the Leinster side who beat Connacht on Friday night. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster centre pulled out of Pro14 clash but could return for Champions Cup opener

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony, CJ Stander and Chris Cloete form as strong a backrow as will be found anywhere. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Pro14 preview: Munster v Ulster, Thomond Park, Saturday, 5.15pm – Live Eir Sport 1, Premier Sports 2

Katie Taylor celebrates her victory over Christina Linardatou after the super-lightweight championship fight at the  Manchester Arena. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

‘I don’t want to see Katie’s legacy tainted by someone who has beaten her on unfair terms’

Robbie Henshaw: Ireland international will start at centre (with Joe Tomane)  for Leinster against his former club Connacht in Galway. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Henshaw, McGrath, Healy and Porter all make a return to the starting XV for in-form visitors

Fans in Donnybrook ahead of the Ireland women’s squad’s   FIH Olympic qualifier against Canada last weekend. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Findings to be showcased at the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists conference

Joy unconfined as Katie Mulland and the Ireland team celebrate victory over Canada and qualification for the Olympics at  Energia Park, Donnybrook,  Dublin last night . Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Goalkeeper McFerran the hero after dramatic penalty shootout against Canada

Katie Taylor after her victory over Christina Linardatou at the Manchester Arena. Photograph:  Gary Carr/Inpho

Irish boxer stuck rigidly to a strategy and declined to give in to her natural instincts to go toe to toe

Katie Taylor celebrates victory against Christina Lindardatou in their WBO Super-Lightweight World Title bout at Manchester Arena. Photograph: PA

Irish boxer moves towards 2020 with five world titles coming back to Bray

Ireland coach Sean Dancer. His side are vying for their first ever Olympic qualification. Photograph: John Cowpland/Inpho

Ireland coach expects opponents to be ‘aggressive and play hard’ in double-header

Katie Taylor: “I have put in hundreds of rounds of sparring these last few years and I am prepared for this kind of challenge.” Photograph:  George Wood/Getty Images)

Lightweight champion has Linardatou in her sights as she steps up a weight

British Army troops with  army Land Rovers and trucks on a  side street  in the predominantly Catholic Falls Road area of Belfast in  May 1971. Photograph: Rolls Press/Popperfoto via Getty Images

My older brother was shot dead on the Falls Road in Belfast. I’m still searching for answers

Johnny Watterson profiles Sean Dancer’s 18-strong squad for the games against Canada

 Hannah Matthews: ‘It is the most competitive it has ever been and there have been some really tough selection decisions.’ Photograph:  Morgan Treacy/Inpho

‘It really means a lot to us that Hockey Ireland and everyone involved have gone to this length’

James Lowe: with him and Dave Kearney on the wings, Leinster have great work horses and go-forward players out wide. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

20-year-old younger brother of Ross Byrne named in the No 10 shirt to take on the Dragons

Zebrecoach Michael Bradley: he has made nine changes to his  team, many of those returning Italian internationals. Photograph: Federico Matteucci/Inpho

Will Addison is in at fullback for Ulster, while Rob Herring starts at hooker against Italian side

 Katie Taylor and Christina Linardatou face off ahead of their fight on Saturday  at Manchester Arena. Photograph:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images

‘It’s going to be a tough fight for her. There’s no doubt about that’ – Carruth

Ireland players react after losing to Canada  during their Olympic qualifier in Vancouver, Canada. Photograph: Darryl Dyck/Sportsfile

Late penalty conceded against Canada will cost Ireland place at Tokyo Olympics

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen believes all four provinces have an influence on the Irish squad, not just Leinster. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Sean Cronin and Fergus McFadden in a race against time for Champions Cup opener

The Britain team form a huddle on the world’s first fully portable international standard hockey pitch during the match with New Zealand at Twickenham Stoop in June. photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty

Large turnout expected for Canada showdown as €250,000 pitch comes to Donnybrook

Ireland’s Megan Frazer: “Megan has been ruled out through injury. She hasn’t played for the last two months.” Photograph: Joe Toth/Inpho

Ireland team coach Sean Dancer says Canada are a good side and should not be underestimated

The Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars play at Wembley on Sunday. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Watch the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars take each other on in North London

Sean Cronin is a doubt for Leinster’s Champions Cup opener against Benetton on November 16th. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Leo Cullen will be without duo over the next few weeks ahead of Champions Cup opener

Andy Farrell will be in charge of Ireland following Joe schmidt’s departure. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Incoming Ireland coach has a long wait until the start of 2020 Six Nations against Scotland

Ireland coach Mark Tumilty: “If we can apply ourselves and execute our game plan, we’ve got, hopefully, a great opportunity.” Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Massive prize on offer for the winners of two-game play-off against Canada this weekend

   Michael Carruth, former Olympic gold medal winner, at the launch of Circle K’s “Here for Ireland” initiative, at Killiney Hill Park. Photograph:  Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Former gold medallist believes talent is there to continue Irish boxing’s proud record

Ian Keatley: former Munster and Ireland outhalf will start for Bennetton at the Sportsground. Photograph:   Matteo Ciambelli/Inpho

Benetton a different proposition these days under Pro 14 coach of the year, Crowley

Tommy O’Donnell: Munster man could be in the frame for an Ireland call-up given the injury to Jordi Murphy. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

O’Connor, O’Shea, Mathewson and Goggin all come into starting line-up in South Africa

Bill Johnston: will make his first start for Ulster against Toyota Cheetahs. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Former Ireland U-20 international had limited opportunities at Munster

Leinster’s Ronan Kelleher scores his second try during the Pro14 win over Ospreys. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Youthful home side made light work of RDS opener as unfamiliar faces took their chance

James Lowe during a Leinster squad session at UCD. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Plenty of new faces get a chance under the lights as Leo Cullen’s men face Ospreys

Ireland players leave the pitch after the 2019 Rugby World Cup win over Russia in Kobe. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Former Munster player would be a bit nervous about quarter-final after performance

Ireland players walk off the pitch following defeat in the Rugby World Cup 2019 Pool A game against Japan. Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Going back to 1991 Ireland have now lost to the home nation four times in World Cups

James Ryan of Ireland and Luke Thompson of Japan compete for a lineout during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Pool A match. Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Poor set pieces, no impact from the bench and lack of precision haunt Ireland

 Paddy McAllister is set to make his first competitive start in a Connacht jersey, having signed from Gloucester in the summer. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Prop Paddy McAllister is set to make his first competitive start in a Connacht jersey

JJ Hanrahan teams  up with scrumhalf Nick McCarthy against Dragons at Thomond Park. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

JJ Hanrahan is at 10 teaming up with Leinster exile and scrumhalf Nick McCarthy

Devin Toner during a Leinster squad training session at  Donnybrook, Dublin. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Toner will be looking to put World Cup disappointment behind him in Pro14 opener

Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow: “Just being who I am and what we Irish are as a culture. We don’t go down easy.”  Photograph:   Steve Dykes/Getty Images

‘It’s been a long time since I had so much self-belief,’ says Northern Irish golfer

Ireland’s Niall Scannell leaves the pitch after the Rugby World Cup win over Scotland. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

From Iain Henderson’s break to Andrew Conway’s try it was a perfect night for Ireland

Scotland’s Stuart Hogg, Chris Harris and Scott Cummings dejected after their 27-3 defeat to Ireland in the 2019 Rugby World Cup Pool A match at the International Stadium Yokohama. Photo: Ashley Western/PA Wire

It was a disappointing opening to the Rugby World Cup for Scotland in Yokohama

Munster head coach Johann van Graan is looking forward to South Africa’s opening Rugby World Cup game against New Zealand on Saturday. Photograph:  Tommy Dickson/Inpho

‘He got an opportunity to go to a World Cup and he has grabbed it with both hands’

Leo Cullen: he believed that he would be travelling to the Australia Rugby World Cup in 2003. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

‘You go through all that grieving process. At some point you have to get to the acceptance phase’

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