Rory Best: Candidacy will not have been harmed by reports of his half-time rallying call which contributed to Ulster’s comeback from 23-0 down to win in Oyannax . Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Rory Best is the odds-on favourite to be named as the next captain of the Irish rugby team when Joe Schmidt announces a squad of around 36 or 37 playe(...)

Munster’s  Barry Murphy scores against Sale Sharks in 2006. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

So the two teams who didn’t have anything left to play for duly did win, whereas the two who had everything to play for in terms of qualification, dul(...)

Seán O’Brien: “You don’t want to be doing too much yapping towards the backs”

Joe Schmidt will announce an extended Ireland squad for the Six Nations Championship on Wednesday and will reveal the player to take over the captain(...)

Leinster’s Sean Cronin celebrates after scoring a try in their clash with Bath in the European Champions Cup. Photo: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Leinster 25 Bath 11 This was a hugely uplifting performance for Irish rugby. All his own doing but Leinster coach Leo Cullen has almost instantly(...)

Leinster’s Tadhg Furlong during training yesterday. Joe Schmidt’s side face Bath in the Champions Cup this weekend. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

While Leinster believe there is an onus on them to compete in this week’s dead rubber against Bath for league momentum, Joe Schmidt will keep a wary(...)

Connacht’s Ultan Dillane attempts to go past Ulster’s Luke Marshall: Dillane is back in Connacht’s starting line-up for clash with Scarlets. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Although Scarlets are on top of the league table, both sides have lost their last three matches and are in danger of falling into a losing streak sce(...)

Rob Kearney plucks Dan Biggar’s garryowen from the sky in the Ireland-Wales World Cup warm-up match last August. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Ospreys v Leinster Liberty Stadium, 7.45pm Sky Sports, BBC Wales Garry Ringrose and Josh van der Flier are young, healthy and playing like their r(...)

Leinster’s Ben Te’o, Jack McGrath and Johnny Sexton struggle to dispossess Connacht’s Eoghan Masterson during yesterday’s Pro12 clash at the RDS. Photograph: Inpho

It sounds simple enough. Leinster grind down their poorer relations and move up the Pro 12 table. For all their European woes, the deep fears for the (...)

Rob Kearney is tackled by Tiernan O’Halloran during Leinster’s 13-0 win at a sodden RDS on Friday. Photograph: Inpho

Leinster 13 Connacht 0 Leave this as a solid win in atrocious conditions. The relentless wind and sideways downpour demanded a specific approach so(...)

Leinster’s Garry Ringrose in action against Munster at Thomond Park. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The real shame is Robbie Henshaw will not be running this last time for Connacht against Leinster (or just the latest time if you believe in western m(...)

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