Ireland and Leinster lock James Ryan in action for St Michael’s in the Senior Cup final against Blackrock in March 2013. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

They have become the leading rugby feeder school in the country, so much so that St Michael’s have become something of a modern-day phenomenon – the b(...)

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(...)

Bath’s Freddie Burns runs behind the posts but fails to ground the ball to score during the European Champions Cup game against Toulouse. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire

Showboating, I know something of this idiotic art-form. Truth be told, such antics very nearly wrote my sporting epitaph. The Freddie Burns gift for (...)

The cast during rehearsals of Paul Howard’s ‘Copper Face Jacks’ in the Olympia Treatre, Dublin. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw  Copper Face Jacks: The Musical: Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

If there was ever a Dublin club whose reputation precedes it, it’s Harcourt Street’s Copper Face Jacks. Even the Lonely Planet got wind of that i(...)

Ireland celebrate at the full-time whistle  after defeating England  at Twickenham Stadium on February 27, 2010. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Twickenham. The worst place to lose, but the best place to win. Come the full-time whistle this afternoon the ground will either be reverberating to S(...)

The Ireland team celebrate winning the Grand Slam at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Consulting, farming, coaching and media darlings aplenty, here are the 2009 Grand Slammers revisited. The campaign got off to a stunning start with J(...)

Ireland players  celebrate Jacob Stockdale’s second try against Wales. Ireland’s backline are significantly taller and heavier than their 2009 counterparts on the team which won the Grand Slam.  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpoh

Is rugby becoming a younger man’s game, as well as a bigger man’s game? The question seems particularly apt on the day Jamie Heaslip confirmed his pre(...)

Simon Zebo:  It appears everybody loves him  and totally understands the reasons for his move to “France”. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Way back in 1999 I received a phone call from Mike Ruddock. Rugby had gone professional in 1995, but season 1999/00 was to be the first fully-fledged (...)

Paul Wallace played all three Lions Tests in South Africa in 1997 having been called up as a replacement. Photograph: Bily Stickland/Inpho

It’s a nervous time for those players selected to travel with the Lions to New Zealand who are still involved with their clubs and provinces in season(...)

In 2009, Ireland achieved their first Grand Slam in 61 years thanks to the lowest injury profile imaginable. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Aside from the glaringly obvious – uppermost amongst them being a good squad well coached – prospective Six Nations Champions require a few other fac(...)

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