Dev Toner

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 Of Ireland’s eight tries so far, Will Connors’ first score against Italy is all that can be paraded around the winner’s enclosure as a strategy invented in the coach’s box. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Sometimes in rugby you play the opposition, not the game. Take Ulster’s sparkling backline. Robert Baloucoune has returned from injury with serious po(...)

The Ireland 10 Ross Byrne needs to have one eye on “the plan” and the other on what his gut tells him. Keep the forwards on the front foot and build pressure on the scoreboard. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Andy Farrell said he learned a lot about the players who played at Twickenham for the first time. Some of them became men, he said. Great to hear – a(...)

James Ryan: “He’ll move on very quickly and he’ll roll his sleeves up. If he’s got captaincy he’ll want to do a great job,” says Lancaster. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The game against England at Twickenham may have been perceived as the biggest Ireland face in the series. But how they finish the tournament is import(...)

Leinster players after  the defeat to Saracens in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Champions Cup at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

We’re putting on the hindsight goggles again. Leinster used the World Cup analogy coming out of lockdown. The theory was sound. Pool matches were the(...)

Garry Ringrose scores a try for Leinster against Munster. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster 27 Munster 25 Normal service resumed. If only this defeat was that simple for Munster. Cruelly, they never got to unveil their newly acquire(...)

 Ireland’s Tommy Bowe celebrates as he scores the late match-winning try against England at Twickenham in 2010. Photograph:  Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Twickenham will never change for me. Strolling up to RFU headquarters on Sunday I know the same uncomfortable feeling will creep to the surface. You (...)

Ireland’s Jacob Stockdale us upended by Scotland’s Ali Price and Nick Haining. Photo: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

15 Jordan Larmour The backfield freedom suits him. As does a new licence to attack with 19 runs for 138 metres. Danced into space before taking on a(...)

Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray at the World Cup welcome ceremony in  Chiba. It is time for the iconic Irish players to deliver. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The veteran Wallaby centre Adam Ashley-Cooper is attending his fourth RWC. When he spoke to the media this week he displayed all his wisdom in succinc(...)

Devin Toner wins a lineout during the Autumn International against New Zealand at the Aviva stadium in November 2018. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

On the Thursday afternoon before the opening game of this year’s Six Nations against England, my phone started to light up. Joe Schmidt had selected R(...)

Joey Carbery of Ireland reacts as he receives medical attention prior to being taken off. Photograph:  Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Ireland 29 Italy 10 - the winners and losers This was shaping into the easiest analysis piece to write: Joey Carbery rips open the debate about pilla(...)

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