Rhys Ruddock

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Johnny Sexton stabs through a kick for Peter O’Mahony to score Ireland’s second try in Kobe. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt’s Ireland no longer looks like a Joe Schmidt team. Successful Schmidt sides - all of them up until 2019 - needed Johnny Sexton to guide t(...)

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt talks to Johnny Sexton ahead of the Rugby World Cup clash with Russia at Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe City. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Joe Schmidt had sensed an anxiety and hesitancy in Ireland’s defeat by Japan and this appeared to resurface in a scoreless half-hour in the middle of (...)

Man of the match Rhys Ruddock carries at Igor Galinovskiy. Photograph:  Mike Hewitt/Getty

A five-try, bonus-point win against a Russian team that played 20 minutes with 14 players will feel underwhelming, especially given the nature of the (...)

Ireland fans celebrate winning in Kobe. Photograph: Jayne Russell/Inpho

There were times in that second half when Donal Lenihan was so down in the dumps he tried to lift his spirits by playing a game of spot-the-look-a-lik(...)

Ireland’s Bundee Aki adds his weight to a ruck as  scrumhalf Luke McGrath holds on to the ball against Russia at the Kobe Misaki Stadium. Photograph: Getty Images

On a rainy night in Kobe, Ireland left a steamy arena with a necessary win over modest Russia but without fully rediscovering the collective strength (...)

Johnny Sexton kicks at goal during Wednesday’s Captain’s Run at the  Kobe Misaki Stadium in Japan. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland v Russia Venue: Kobe Stadium. Kick-off: 7.15pm local time/11.15am Irish time. On TV: Live on Eir and RTÉ (ROI) and ITV (NI) and live radio (...)

Ireland’s head coach Joe Schmidt and outhalf Jonathan Sexton take part in a training session at the Steelers Training Ground in Kobe this morning. Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland have made 11 changes in their starting XV to face Russia this Thursday in Kobe (kick-off 7.15pm local time/11.15am Irish time), with just four(...)

Ireland’s flanker Rhys Ruddock takes part in a training session at the Rugby World Cup. Photo: Adrian Dennis/Getty Images

For the raft of players who will be making their first World Cup start against Russia on Thursday opportunity knocks, but with that comes an onus to r(...)

Ireland’s Conor Murray stands dejected after the Rugby World Cup Pool A loss to Japan. Photo: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Rob Kearney Ireland broken by Japan. Stunned on 68 minutes, and subsequently failing the HIA, it forced Stockdale to fullback, Luke McGrath onto the (...)

Johnny Sexton during an Irish training session at Yumeria Sports Grounds in Iwata. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Joe Schmidt is confident that Johnny Sexton will be available to face Russia on October 3rd. Speaking to the media this morning, the Ireland coach exp(...)

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