Luke Fitzgerald

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Donnacha Ryan, Conor Murray and Keith Earls all attended St Munchin’s College in Limerick which leads the way with seven in providing senior internationals among the last 100 players to be capped by Ireland. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The American comedian Stephen Colbert once observed: “Facts matter not at all, perception is everything. It’s certainty.” It came to mind when thinki(...)

 Keith Earls  in action during Ireland’s disappointing defeat to Scotland in the opening  Six Nations match at Murrayfield. Photograph: Inpho

This week in the lead in to a Six Nations match, Ireland’s team base at Carton House has a conveyer belt feel. Around the old reading rooms, where (...)

Garry Ringrose: ‘It was an opportunity to go in and train with the best players in Ireland. It wasn’t an opportunity that came around to every 19-year-old.’ Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Go ahead, compare Garry Ringrose to the 22-year-old version of Brian O’Driscoll. Same position, same schooling, similar early coaching, but by January(...)

A Glenstal Abbey supporter entertains the attendance  at half-time during the Munster Schools Senior Cup clash against St Clement’s at UL. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Early in the second half Shane Brosnahan cut a swathe through Glenstal Abbey’s midfield from possession inside his own half. Continuing on his diag(...)

Leinster and Ireland’s loss was Wasps’ gain when Martin Moore left for pastures new. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The Sopranos opened an episode once with Frank Sinatra crooning It Was A Very Good Year as Tony and the crew emptied a brown paper bag of cash on the(...)

Rory Best congratulated by team-mates on his 100th cap after Ireland beat Australia at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

It may not have been a vintage one, but by any yardstick 2016 was a good year for Irish rugby. One only has to rewind 12 months to remember where we w(...)

 Johnny Sexton: set to return for Leinster against Ulster at the RDS on New Year’s Eve.  Photograph: Inpho/Camerasport

Johnny Sexton is nearing fitness, again. The 31-year-old could feature in the New Year’s Eve game against Ulster at the RDS. “Johnny trained today fu(...)

Leinster’s Adam Byrne score the  first try in the Champions Cup game against Northampton at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Leinster 60 Northampton 13 Nine Leinster tries in a non-contest that does the Champions Cup no favours at all. There was hardly any need for the seco(...)

Munster’s Jaco Taute scores their third try against Leicester last weekend. Photo: Dan Sherida/Inpho

Irish rugby in December 2016 feels like a harmonious ecosystem. It certainly looks that way from recent results. Everyone, from players to coaches,(...)

France’s Jean Marc Doussain is tackled by Ireland’s Jared Payne and CJ Stander. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Jared Payne would be close enough to this All Black squad, maybe not the starting XV, but in and around the frame had he not taken up the opportunity(...)

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