Ireland’s Cian Healy, Josh van der Flier and James Ryan during the Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash with New Zealand in Tokyo. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The Barrett clan spent 15 months living in Meath. They played Gaelic football for St Brigid’s while the father, who promised he would “breed All Black(...)

 Johnny Sexton has again showed how vital he is to Ireland’s cause on the pitch during thei Rugby World Cup. Photograph: Hiroshi Yamamura/EPA

15 Rob Kearney (Leinster) Age: 33 Height: 6’1” Weight: 95kg (14st, 11lbs) Caps: 94 After going nearly four years without a try, Kearney is now scoring(...)

The Ireland and New Zealand encounters define the Joe Schmidt era.

Joe Schmidt’s decade in Ireland has yielded unprecedented success ever since Johnny Sexton orchestrated Leinster’s miracle revival against Northampton(...)

New Zealand fullback Beauden Barrett holds on to South Africa winger Cheslin Kolbe  during the  Rugby World Cup Pool B game at Yokohama International Stadium. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The All Blacks. Are there two more evocative, romantic, powerful words in world sport? Is there a team whose name alone can strike as much fear and aw(...)

 Rob Kearney has got the nod at fullback to face New Zealand in Saturday’s Rugby World cup quarter-final. Photograph:    Adam Davy/PA Wire

Rugby World Cup quarter-final: New Zealand v Ireland Kick-off: 11.15am Irish time, Saturday. Venue: Tokyo Stadium. How to follow: The Irish Times liv(...)

Tadhg Furlong en-route to scoring his stunning try in Ireland’s win over Samoa. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty

Everybody hurts sometimes. Take comfort in your friends. Andrew Porter began talking about Tadhg Furlong before veering into his own personal struggle(...)

Ireland’s Jonathan Sexton impressed in his team’s bonus point win against Samoa at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium. Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland’s 45-7 victory over Samoa was excellent when weighted with the pre-match considerations. The pitch issues, pressure borne of expectation and a(...)

Ireland’s Jordan Larmour on his way to scoring a try against Samoa. Photograph: Jayne Russell/Inpho

Ireland 47 Samoa 5 Mission accomplished, and with a good deal less drama than might have been expected, not least when Bundee Aki’s 29th-minute red c(...)

Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton will start and Ireland Test together for the 55th time against Samoa, equalling the halfback pairing of Ronan O’Gara and Peter Stringer. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

As Typhoon Hagibis already begins to wreak havoc on the final weekend of the pool stages before doing so on Tokyo itself, Ireland’s game against Samoa(...)

 Johnny  Sexton kicking through to set up Peter O’Mahony for  Ireland’s second try against Russia in Kobe City. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland’s utter reliance on Johnny Sexton is a conundrum for 2020. It is Andy Farrell’s problem ahead of next season’s Six Nations. Right now, right h(...)

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