Connacht’s Paul Boyle in action against  Southern Kings. “He carries hard, he tackles hard, he knows his role and he knows where he’s meant to be,” says coach Andy Friend.   Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Paul Boyle has never shirked a challenge or cowed in the face of adversity on a rugby pitch. So, when a contract didn’t materialise at Leinster as he (...)

Noel McNamara: “Taking on that challenge  was exciting. For me it was about trying to create a culture around our defence. I certainly got a buy-in [from the players].  Photograph: Anthony Au-Yeung/Inpho

Noel McNamara has managed to shoehorn a massive workload into the past 12 months. It began from the moment he took over as head coach of the Ireland (...)

 Gloucester’s Danny Cipriani is sent off by referee Alexandre Ruiz during the Heineken Champions Cup match against Munster at Thomond Park.  Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The circumstances pertaining to red cards in the second round of matches in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup superseded most other considerations (...)

Japanese fans  during the international  match between Japan and Australia  at Nissan Stadium  in Yokohama in November 2017. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

World Rugby claim there will be 400,000 supporters visiting Japan for the 2019 World Cup, which seems fanciful given the costs of getting there, and i(...)

Paddy Jackson leaving Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA

Paddy Jackson Paddy Jackson was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland in January 1992 before moving to Birmingham with his family when his father got a j(...)

Ronan Kelleher scored for Ireland Under-20s during their vital win in Georgia. Photograph: Levan Verdzeuli/Inpho

Ireland Under-20s 52 Samoa Under-20s 26 It was a case of mission accomplished, with the performance of secondary importance and victory paramount in (...)

Connacht’s record try scorer Fionn Carr is a key member of the Ireland sevens set-up. Photograph: Inpho

Ireland’s victory in the first leg of the Rugby Europe Sevens Grand Prix series in Moscow at the weekend has allowed them to take a significant step f(...)

Blindside flanker Cillian Gallagher, in action above for the Connacht Eagles against London Irish, will line out for Ireland against Scotland. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Six Nations Under-20 preview: Scotland v Ireland Venue: Cumbernauld, Friday, 8.30pm TV: Live on RTÉ 2 Despite the absence of players of the calibre(...)

Ireland scrumhalf Stephen Kerins in action. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Ireland v Scotland, Donnybrook, 7.35pm, Friday, RTÉ 2 The is symmetry between tonight’s protagonists: they share the same points total (four), numb(...)