Rory Best

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Ireland’s Rob Kearney scores a try against Wales. The fullback is expected to miss the match against Scotland with a hamstring injury. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The best laid plans of men and mice. Already consigned to being without the hamstrung Robbie Henshaw for the opening skirmishes of the 2019 Rugby Worl(...)

Japan’s Luke Thompson during the 2015 Rugby World Cup game against the USA at Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester, England.  Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Brighton 2015: spot the Kiwi on 83 minutes, having milled Adriaan Strauss off Japanese ball, all but leaning on the shoulder of Harumichi Tatekawa yet(...)

Andrew Porter, Josh van der Flier, Chris Farrell, Rory Best, James Ryan and Bundee Aki are presented with their Rugby World Cup caps at the  official welcome ceremony. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Here’s Johnny. The surroundings of the hotel where Ireland are bunkered down make an industrial estate outside Bordeaux feel almost enticing. We were(...)

Ireland’s Josh van der Flier against Wales at the Aviva Stadium in their World Cup warm-up. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

It’s always hard to tell with the pre-World Cup phoney war. Extreme results are commonplace, with even the All Blacks as well as Australia and Ireland(...)

The prep is done, the players are ready, all that’s left is to gather up the passports and go. Ireland beat Wales in their last World Cup warm-up game(...)

 Chester Williams of South Africa  during their 1995 Rugby World Cup quarter-final match against Western Samoa in Johannesburg.  File photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The iconic picture from the 1995 World Cup final of Nelson Mandela presenting Francois Pienaar with the William Webb Ellis trophy gifted rugby and Sou(...)

Ireland’s Josh van der Flier at the Guinness Series pre-World Cup friendly against Wales at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The dress rehearsals are finally dispensed with and now, at last, comes the real thing. Thank heaven for that. As with most other head coaches, Joe Sc(...)

Ireland’s Rory Best  against  Wales at the Aviva Stadium on September 7th. Photograph:Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Last Saturday’s story centres on lineout management and spatial awareness feeding into the question – where are Ireland on their World Cup preparation(...)

Ireland’s Rory Best leaves the field to a thunderous ovation after the game against Wales in the Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland 19 Wales 10 On the proviso that Keith Earls’s quadricep injury is as insignificant as initially presumed – and hence, miracle of miracles, no(...)

Ireland’s Jordan Larmour charges at Wales’s Hadleigh Parkes and Jonathan Davies during the  World Cup warm-up at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

It was a phone call that none of the Ireland players wanted to receive last Sunday week, to see head coach Joe Schmidt’s number pop up on the screen m(...)

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