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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

Perusing the Pro14 statistics from an Irish perspective ahead of the weekend’s semi-final matches, one name – Stuart McCloskey – is at, or near, the t(...)

James Ryan (right) with Leinster team-mate Tadgh Furlong following their Champions Cup defeat to Saracens at St James’ Park, Newcastle, last Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland

It is a measure of the esteem in which James Ryan is held by his peers that the 22-year-old Leinster and Irish lock has become the youngest player to (...)

 Darren Cave with Rory Best after both playing their final home game in Ulster’s Pro14 quarter-final win over Connacht at at  Kingspan Stadium. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Ulster 21 Connacht 13 As Connacht know as well as anyone from eviscerating Leinster by a record margin a year ago in John Muldoon’s final game, biddi(...)

Ulster’s Darren Cave and Rory Best leave the field after their win over Connacht at Kingspan Stadium. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ulster 21 Connacht 13 The scoreline certainly doesn’t flatter Connacht, who gave it their all in a throbbing and vibrant Guinness Pro14 quarter-final(...)

Rory Best: all set for a farewell home appearance at Kingspan Stadium. Photograph: Craig Watson/Inpho

Ulster v Connacht, Kingspan Stadium, Belfast. Kick-off: 5.35pm. (On TV: Live on eir Sport)   This intriguing first play-off meeting between them(...)

Rocky Elsom in action for Leinster: “We adopted an under-12s mentality in many games that season [2008-9]. Give the ball to the big fella and pile after him. It worked, especially against Munster at Croke Park.”  Photograph: Graham Stuart/Inpho

There are several reasons for the continued success of the Irish provinces. Home grown talent will always matter. Some brilliant coaching tickets have(...)

Munster’s Guinness  Stephen Archer and Jean Kleyn tackle Joe Maksymiw of Connacht during the Pro14 clash at Thomond Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Munster 27 Connacht 14 For Johann van Graan, the abiding lessons from his first half campaign as Munster’s head coach was the importance of earning h(...)

Connacht centre Bundee Aki has apologised for liking Israel Folau’s social media post. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ireland international Bundee Aki has said that he "mistakenly" liked Israel Folau’s homophobic post on Instagram, and has apologised for the conf(...)

Connacht’s Matt Healy scores a try during the Guinness Pro 14 game against Cardiff Blues at the Sportsground. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Connacht 29 Cardiff Blues 22 After Connacht signed off last season with their best performance of the campaign in that emotionally fuelled 47-10 far(...)

Connacht’s Jack Carty scores a try despite the tackle of  Matthew Morgan of Cardiff Blues during the Guinness Pro 14 game  at the Sportsground. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht 29 Cardiff Blues 22 Connacht earned themselves a mouth-watering Guinness Pro14 quarter-final away to Ulster – having won in Belfast for the (...)

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