Mike Ross

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Ireland’s CJ Stander, Andrew Porter and James Ryan during the anthems before their defeat to Japan at Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

A worrying picture is beginning to form of this Ireland pack being ranked below previous Irish versions at World Cups. That theory can be altered over(...)

 Australian’s Reece Hodge scores his side’s second try against Fiji. He should already have been off the pitch for a head high challenge on Fiji’s Pejeli Yato. Hodge’s  subsequent ban did little for Yato – or Fiji. Photograph:  Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Rewards? Funny how the USA were the first team to receive a red card. How do lesser teams get their rewards? For instance, is it a reward for Fiji t(...)

Dan Van Zyl  runs the   Rugby Academy Ireland along with fellow South African Johan Taylor. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

“Last spring Academy Director Johan Taylor supervised the laying of a new rugby pitch with the most expensive turf and grass seed available; good job (...)

Now, with Scotland in their sights, all that torture has been moulded into something resembling peak performance. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Small island, big dreams. There’s nowhere to hide on this green rock. Six hours cruising in his vintage mustang can have Jacob Stockdale beside Conor (...)

Greg Feek: “A lot of the guys have had bloody noses. They’ve had some good days and they’ve had some bad days and that’s important for the World Cup as well.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

One of the more interesting conundrums facing the Irish coaching staff is their choice of props for the World Cup. Four would be too little, and thoug(...)

Munster’s Jean Kleyn tackles Leinster’s Seán Cronin during the Guinness Pro 14 semi-final at the  RDS. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

It is a testimony to the relatively settled nature of the Irish squad that the 44 players named for the World Cup preparatory camps which commence in (...)

Leinster’s  Tadhg Furlong reacts as he scores the first try during the Champions Cup final  between Leinster and Saracens at St James’ Park  in Newcastle. Photograph:   Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Summertime, and the sporting seasons are overlapping. Being a proud Wexford man, Tadhg Furlong went along to Parnell Park with a few Leinster teammate(...)

Mike Ross: ‘There’s a competition on with the other members of the Irish coaching staff to lose weight before Paddy’s day, which I intend to win.’ Photograph: ©INPHO

Former Ireland international Mike Ross works for software company Wizuda and is a scrum coach for Ireland’s women’s rugby team. 7am I’ll have coffee (...)

Ireland’s Paddy Jackson looks on dejectedly as Italy’s Sergio Parisse celebrates his side winning a late penalty in Rome in 2013. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

By kickoff the best laid plans had begun to unspool. Outhalf Paddy Jackson came in as a replacement for Johnny Sexton, and Ian Madigan had been drafte(...)

Ireland’s Robbie Henshaw  is tackled by Jonny May of England during their   Six Nations defeat at the Aviva Stadium on February 2nd. Photograph: Reuters

Perhaps the most acute disappointment arising from Ireland’s quarter-final defeat to Argentina in the 2015 Rugby World Cup was the fact that Joe Schmi(...)

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