Jordi Murphy (above) and John Cooney have been released to play by Ireland coach Joe Schmidt for Ulster’s Pro14 match against Dragons. Photograph: Inpho

Ulster know there is no room for a misstep and with the exception of a disappointing 17-17 draw against Benetton – it doesn’t look as bad when weighed(...)

The forwards  huddle during the Captain’s Run ahead of the Lions’ game against  the Wellington Hurricanes on Tuesday. Photograph:  Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Hurricanes v British & Irish Lions, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, 7.35pm local time (8.35am Irish), Sky Sports 1 from 8am. First off this is about(...)

 Keith Earls in action for the British and Irish Lions in 2009. The Munster man did not feature in the preceding Six Nations tournament for Ireland. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Keith Earls and Alan Quinlan share a unique distinction pertaining to the 2009 Lions tour to South Africa in that of the original 37-man squad select(...)

Wales’ Rhys Webb has been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup. Photograph: PA

Mike Phillips has been called up to the Wales squad after the scrum-half Rhys Webb was officially ruled out of the Rugby World Cup. Webb, last season(...)

Leigh Halfpenny was injured during Wales’ final Rugby World Cup warm-up game against Italy at the Millenium Stadium. Photograph: Reuters

Shane Williams has questioned Wales coach Warren Gatland’s decision to field Leigh Halfpenny against Italy on Saturday in a move that backfired, with (...)

 Paddy Jackson: “I just have to focus on playing 10, getting my roles right and trying manage the team around me.”

In a rugby world of utility players Paddy Jackson is content to stand proud as a specialist. Ask a number eight where he plays and it’s everywhere in (...)

 James Hook, Mike Phillips and Richard Hibbard are among eight players released from Wales’ World Cup training squad, the Welsh Rugby Union has announced. Photograph: David Davies/PA

High-profile trio James Hook, Mike Phillips and Richard Hibbard have been cut from Wales’ World Cup training squad. The Welsh Rugby Union announced th(...)

Jamie Heaslip of Ireland charges upfield during the International match between Wales and Ireland at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

So Pool D runners-up will be playing New Zealand on 17th October. Ahhh. But Pool D winners will have the reward of Argentina a day later. Neither Irel(...)

Keith Earls breaks with the ball to score an Ireland try during the international match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images.

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The slickness of this performance was testimony to the coaching skills of Joe Schmidt and his staff, and the trademark(...)

Simon Zebo is congratulated by three other Ireland try scorers, Jamie Heaslip, Felix Jones and Keith Earls after his score against Wales at the Millennium Stadium. Photograph: PA

Wales 21 Ireland 35 The final scoreline, if anything, flattered Wales. Ireland were way more cohesive than a Welsh team cobbled together from World Cu(...)

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