England centre Henry Slade dives over the line to score one of his two tries in the  Six Nations match against Ireland at the Aviva stadium. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

Ireland 20 England 32 No-one quite saw this coming, and certainly not to this scale, but as good as England were, Ireland were strangely off colour. (...)

The Ireland team to play England pictured after  the Captain’s Run at the  Aviva stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

15 Robbie Henshaw (Leinster) Age: 25 Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 105kg (16st 3lb) Caps: 36 A surprise selection at fullback – but providing he remembers t(...)

Robbie Henshaw and Conor Murray both start against England on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

What is it? Ireland start off their Six Nations defence against England, the old enemy, and the hosts are hot favourites. All four Irish provinces ar(...)

Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell dictates defensive outcomes that evolve long before the final tackle. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Forget the Eddie Jones one-liner but do focus on his bottom line. He has coached England 35 times and has a Grand Slam and win percentage of 80 per ce(...)

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has explained the thinking behind his first team announcement of the 2019 Six Nations. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Robbie Henshaw running as the Ireland fullback has been part of Joe Schmidt’s overall plan for some time now. Rob Kearney’s shocker against the Scarl(...)

Robbie Henshaw starts at fullback for Ireland in their Six Nations opener. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

On top of the surprise selection of Robbie Henshaw at fullback instead of Rob Kearney and Josh van der Flier at openside ahead of Seán O’Brien the Ire(...)

 Ireland’s Josh van der Flier is expected to be named at openside for the Six Nations opener against England. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Josh van der Flier is set to start against England on Saturday at the Aviva stadium despite Seàn O’Brien’s return to fitness. Van der Flier is the in(...)

Josh van der Flier: “I don’t have too good memories of that game. It was tough. They were very, very good and I remember they scored a lot of very good backs’ tries.” Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Leinster revisit the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Sunday, three years on from a 51-10 thrashing at the hands of Wasps, the Irish province’s heaviest eve(...)

Connacht’s Caolin Blade looks set to be included in the Ireland squad for the opening two Six Nations matches. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Caolin Blade, the uncapped 24-year-old Connacht scrumhalf, is set to be included in the Irish squad for their defence of the forthcoming Six Nations w(...)

Leinster’s Josh van der Flier tackles Toulouse’s   Yoann Huget during the Champions Cup clash at the RDS. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

In the hurly-burly of a match it can be difficult to remain emotionally detached, casting a dispassionate eye over every contact point, collision, ta(...)

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