Six Nations 2017

Mathieu Bastareaud will miss France's RBS 6 Nations clash with Ireland due to concussion.

World Cup success missing link for Jamie Heaslip

He is just seven Ireland caps short of a century and has a list of honours many fellow professional rugby players can only dream about, yet a World Cup success with Ireland remains the missing link between Jamie Heaslip and a career fulfilled.

Johnny Sexton must prove he is ready for France showdown

It will not be the return of Johnny Sexton to full training with Ireland today that will determine whether the fly-half faces France at the Aviva Stadium this Saturday but the way he comes through the sessions at Carton House.

Raphael Lakafia and Racing pair boost French squad

France have called up Stade Français back-row Raphael Lakafia to replace Damien Chouly ahead of Saturday’s Six Nations clash with Ireland.

Cillian Gallagher to miss clash with France

The Ireland U20s have been dealt a fresh injury blow, as stand-in captain Cillian Gallagher is set to miss out on Friday’s crunch Six Nations encounter with France at Donnybrook.

Kieran Marmion ready for Ireland duty says Connacht coach Lam

Connacht 14 - Dragons 9: Connacht coach Pat Lam says Kieran Marmion is fit to make his first start in the Six Nations next Saturday against France if called into action.

Joe Schmidt: 'We’re not happy to be where we are but we’re excited about the challenge we face'

Ireland have won two Six Nations championships and beaten all three of the southern hemisphere giants on Joe Schmidt’s watch but the Kiwi clearly feels that the next month will serve as the best barometer yet as to where his team stands.

Joe Schmidt: ‘We’re not happy to be where we are but we’re excited about the challenge we face’

The next month will serve as the best barometer yet as to where Ireland stands.

England’s Dylan Hartley still in Lions frame, insists Warren Gatland

Warren Gatland says England captain Dylan Hartley remains firmly in his thoughts for Lions selection.

Italy are the only winners in keeping Six Nations closed shop

Brendan O'Brien wonders if Italy are still worthy of their Six Nations spot.

What a kick in the teeth feels like

HOW coincidental my exasperation on these pages at the fading art of kicking should be followed last Saturday by the wayward clearance that may define this season’s Six Nations championship, writes Ronan O’Gara.

Warren Gatland drops in on Ireland to check on potential Lions

Down there, in the rugby madlands of New Zealand, the appetite for the summer tourists is surging. Warren Gatland knows antipodean expectancy better than most.

Ross Ford insists Scotland leadership strong despite Greig Laidlaw blow

Laidlaw went down just before half-time as the Dark Blues slumped to a 22-16 defeat in Paris.

Ireland beware as coach Noves sparking off a French revolution

After a riveting opening phase of Six Nations action, we now have a weekend to draw breath and contemplate what the remainder of this year’s tournament is likely to throw up.

Rob Kearney a doubt for Ireland's remaining Six Nations fixtures

The Leinster back hurt his bicep during the second half of Ireland’s comprehensive win against Italy.

Jamie Heaslip signs deal to stay in Ireland until 2019 World Cup

"He is an inspiration to the younger players coming through the Sub-Academy and Academy at Leinster."

Joe Schmidt expects remaining Six Nations battles to go down to the wire

The medical update from the Scotland squad following their battle with France on Sunday will have given Ireland’s management plenty of pause for thought as they look ahead to their next Six Nations encounter in 11 days.

Conor O’Shea must rebuild a Roman empire lying in ruin

Had the Six Nations been around in Ancient Rome, Julius Caesar would have been out on his imperial ear. He’d have been ridiculed for letting the place go to wrack and ruin long before the Colosseum collapsed or The Forum went to pot.

Steaking claim that French left bad taste during Six Nations

France may have had Jim Telfer spluttering on his neeps and tatties yesterday but at least Scotland’s grand old Lion got through it without an opponent taking the food out of his mouth.

Finn Russell rues luck as Scotland fall to France's fightback

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter could not explain what went wrong with Finn Russell’s bizarre missed conversion after his side lost 22-16 to France in Paris.

Eddie Jones has last laugh after baiting Wales

In the six days leading to Cardiff on Saturday night, Eddie Jones trotted out the usual Welsh stereotypes about daffodils, goats, and Tom Jones — all harmless, knockabout stuff even if some over-sensitive natives mistook it for a national insult.

Eddie Jones plans to unleash Billy Vunipola on Ireland

Billy Vunipola is being targeted for a return to action against Ireland in their Six Nations tournament climax in Dublin next month.

Ireland Women's team wing a win against Italy in Six Nations

The Ireland Women's persistence was rewarded with four second half tries as they stayed top of the Six Nations table with a 27-3 win away to Italy.

CJ Stander: Still plenty of work for Ireland to do despite big win

Hat-trick hero CJ Stander insists Ireland are still not back in the RBS 6 Nations title race despite thrashing Italy in Rome on Saturday.

Eddie Jones: We don't know how to get beaten

Eddie Jones admitted England had exhausted all of their "get-out-of-jail cards" after edging Wales 21-16 in an enthralling RBS 6 Nations showdown in Cardiff.

Joe Schmidt reserves special praise for Paddy Jackson and talks about Ireland's injury worries

Joe Schmidt insists Paddy Jackson has done enough to ensure Johnny Sexton will not be an automatic selection for Ireland's RBS 6 Nations clash with France.

Wales lead with four minutes to go before losing to late England try

England extended their winning run to 16 Tests as wing Elliot Daly's late try clinched a dramatic RBS 6 Nations victory over Wales in Cardiff.

Jamie Heaslip relieved to bounce back; Joe Schmidt: 'It's an open championship'

Ireland captain Jamie Heaslip admitted it was a relief to bounce back from last week's defeat with a comprehensive 63-10 win over Italy in Rome.

Match in a minute: Here's how Ireland got nine tries past Italy

Ireland have beaten Italy 63-10 in their RBS 6 Nations match in Rome.

Ireland captain Rory Best ruled out of Italy clash

Ireland captain Rory Best will miss the RBS 6 Nations match against Italy in Rome due to illness, the Irish Rugby Football Union has announced.

Hard work paying off for Cian Healy

Murrayfield isn’t exactly flavour of the month in the Irish camp this week but Cian Healy wouldn’t be remiss if he were to reach back into a repository of happier memories from the Edinburgh ground ahead of this afternoon’s date at the Stadio Olimpico.

England v Wales: A rugby rivalry like few others

England and Wales. Two countries steeped in rugby history with a rivalry to match.

Ireland v Italy: how the sides compare

Simon Lewis breaks down the strengths and weaknesses of both teams.

Ireland U20s scrape home against Italy

Italy U20 26 Ireland U20 27: The Ireland U20s withstood a powerful challenge from Italy in Prato last night, before securing their second consecutive one-point victory in this year’s Six Nations Championship.

Scotland braced for French juggernaut

Vern Cotter has urged his Scotland players to force the French “juggernaut” into a U-turn in Paris.

Rory Best's bug gives Joe Schmidt more 11th-hour stress

Ireland’s readiness for the unexpected, which failed them so demonstrably last weekend, looks set to be re-tested this afternoon against Italy if captain Rory Best fails to shake off a stomach bug.

Paula Fitzpatrick: Ireland must tackle indiscipline

Captain Paula Fitzpatrick admits Irish discipline must improve if they are to maintain their perfect start to the RBS Six Nations away to Italy tomorrow afternoon (1pm, live on RTE Two).

Italy v Ireland match facts

Ireland go to Italy in the second round of the 2017 Six Nations on Saturday.

Ireland call up cover as Rory Best sits out Captain’s Run due to illness

The hooker has a stomach bug and remained behind at the squad's hotel to recover.

Philosophical Donnacha Ryan looks to steady the lineout after recall

Donnacha Ryan would clearly rather have been in the thick of the action at Murrayfield last week rather than helping his team-mates prepare to face Scotland as a travelling reserve.

Elaine Anthony and Hannah Tyrrell get Ireland call

Ireland head coach Tom Tierney has named Cork woman Elaine Anthony in his side to take on their Italian counterparts at the Stadio Tommaso Fattori in L’Aquila on Sunday, as Ireland look to build on an injury-time win over Scotland last weekend.

The Italian view - ‘There’s a lot of talent here, it’s just creating a culture of winning’

This is a more significant match for Italy than the game against Wales last Sunday, writes David Shonfield.

Italy will be contenders in three years, says Conor O’Shea

Conor O’Shea expects mutterings of mirth but still remains convinced Italy will boast a “very good team” inside three years.

Form shouldn’t be sole selection criteria

Tiernan O’Halloran has been touted for selection as Ireland full-back, on the basis of his good form, but elite sides are delicate eco-systems, and changes can have knock-on effects, writes Brendan O’Brien.

Conor Murray: ‘We’re angry with ourselves and want to put things right’

It is not clear whether tomorrow’s mission to atone for defeat in Scotland has included a detailed analysis of Rome’s traffic management systems but Ireland’s players have certainly left Joe Schmidt in no doubt they are ready to make amends.

Conor O'Shea: Some people might laugh, but Italy will be very good in two or three years

Conor O'Shea expects mutterings of mirth but still remains convinced Italy will boast a "very good team" inside three years.

Joe Schmidt: Johnny Sexton and Peter O'Mahony will both be fit for France game

Both players missed last week's frustrating loss to Scotland in Edinburgh.

Joe Schmidt makes two changes for trip to Italy

Ireland head to Italy in need of strong performance to get their Six Nations campaign back on track

England name inexperienced back row for Six nations clash with Wales

England made an unconvincing start to their Six Nations title defence, with only the arrival of a powerful bench sealing victory over France.

Eimear Considine shocked by half-time call-up

Former Clare dual GAA star Eimear Considine revealed yesterday she was surprised to be handed her 15s international debut at half-time in Ireland’s dramatic Women’s Six Nations victory against Scotland last Friday.

Keith Earls: 'We let Scotland beat us'

Wingers always run the risk of exposure.

Conor O’Shea ‘tailor-made’ for Italy, says protege Danny Care

Conor O’Shea is “tailor-made” for the all-encompassing job of revitalising Italian rugby, according to Danny Care.

Rory Best: Forget BOD comparisons, let Garry Ringrose be his own man

"People just want this fantasy that there's another Brian O'Driscoll out there."

Conor O'Shea 'tailor-made' to revitalise Italian rugby

"He's got that infectious optimism and confidence."

Why Ireland need to get back with Joe Schmidt’s programme

The good news is that the areas of vulnerability last weekend are all fixable, writes Donal Lenihan.

‘Finisher’ Ben Te’o is happy to bide his time

Ben Te’o is unafraid of the hostility that awaits when England face Wales in Cardiff on Saturday after revealing he plans to visit North Korea with Jonny May. Te’o has been discussing the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with May, and the pair have decided to embark on a backpacking trip to the country.

Andy Farrell: We can still win the Six Nations

Andy Farrell believes Ireland can still win the RBS 6 Nations title but after a chastening afternoon of wasted opportunities at Murrayfield he knows the national team needs to regain and then sustain its ruthless streak for the rest of the Championship.

John Ryan on his ulcerative colitis: ‘It is no way to live’

He may not have got the chance to do what he loves most and scrummaged against the Scots last week but just being on the pitch at Murrayfield making his Six Nations debut was a dream come true for John Ryan given the journey he has taken of late.

Italy eager to deal with lineout threat from Devin Toner

Italy will seek to nullify Ireland's lineout threat by steering completely clear of Devin Toner in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash.

We should love defending - but we didn't against Scotland, says Andy Farrell

Andy Farrell has challenged Ireland to get in the mood for defending to rescue their RBS 6 Nations campaign in Italy this weekend.

Johnny Sexton and Peter O’Mahony not ruled out

As medical updates go there was much positivity for Ireland ahead of Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations encounter with Italy in Rome. Yet whether the mental bruises reported by team manager Paul Dean yesterday came from the loss to Scotland or the review that followed it was not clarified.

Bill Johnston will be eased back gently to centre stage

Bill Johnston made an eagerly anticipated return to rugby last Friday when he featured for Garryowen against Young Munster but the gifted out-half is to be eased back into the provincial and international arenas.

Robbie Henshaw confident of getting back on the rails in Rome

That line about triumph and disaster and treating them the same?

Sergio Parisse fighting to be fit for Ireland showdown

Italy talisman Sergio Parisse faces a battle to recover from a neck injury in time to face Ireland in Rome on Saturday.

Injury news a much-needed positive for Ireland after Six Nations defeat

The cloud that enveloped Ireland at Murrayfield over the weekend produced a belated silver lining today with the news that Joe Schmidt’s squad had at least returned from Scotland more or less physically unscathed, writes Brendan O'Brien.

Conor O'Shea's Italy lose opener to Wales

Wales have beaten Italy 33-7 in the sides' 2017 RBS 6 Nations opener in Rome.

Sean O'Brien expects a tough review session for Ireland tomorrow

Ireland intend to vent their anger on Italy in Rome next weekend for the slow start that caught them cold in Scotland.