RWC15: TOP STORY

Call it what you will, and as far as Joe Schmidt is concerned it is most definitely not a warm-up, but Ireland’s clash with England at Twickenham today represents a significant moment on the road to this fast-approaching World Cup.

Rugby - TODAY'S STORIES - IRISH EXAMINER

After Twickenham tweaking, it’s now lift-off

Call it what you will, and as far as Joe Schmidt is concerned it is most definitely not a warm-up, but Ireland’s clash with England at Twickenham today represents a significant moment on the road to this fast-approaching World Cup.

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Emotional Donncha O’Callaghan tears himself away

It has been a rollercoaster week for Donncha O’Callaghan. He playing his last game for Munster, visited south Sudan where he witnessed both joy and terror, before tearing himself away from a rugby team he loved with all of his heart to plan a new beginning in a different environment at the age of 36.

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Leinster fall at first hurdle

Edinburgh 16 Leinster 9: Leinster’s hopes of opening their Guinness Pro12 season with a victory were shattered last night by an Edinburgh side that showed more flair with ball in hand and which had a more aggressive back row.

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Connacht show battling qualities to slay Dragons

Connacht 29 Dragons 23: Connacht opened their Guinness Pro 12 season with a valuable home win, edging a lively encounter against the Newport Gwent Dragons at the Galway Sportsground last evening.

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Munster ready for new facility

Munster Rugby will end their tradition of training in dual venues in Cork and Limerick when a new state-of-the-art facility is opened next July.

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Paul O’Connell tips Donncha to be a hit at Worcester

Paul O’Connell believes long-time second-row partner Donncha O’Callaghan will give new club Worcester unbelievable value for money following the veteran’s decision to leave Munster.

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Dave O’Callaghan looking over his shoulder

Dave O’Callaghan is only 25, but with a ready supply of youngsters coming through the Munster system he’s already beginning to feel old.

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Utility man Simon Zebo ready for the call

It doesn’t seem so long since Simon Zebo was struggling for a first audition under Joe Schmidt, but the Munster man’s worth to the national cause continues to expand with the head coach giving him the nod to start again at full-back against England tomorrow.

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Lam names two new caps in settled Connacht side to face Dragons

There are few surprises in Pat Lam’s Connacht squad for this evening’s Guinness Pro 12 opener at the Galway Sportsground (7.30pm).

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Depleted Leinster can still call on experienced squad for Edinburgh

Despite being short 17 players following World Cup squad announcements, Leo Cullen is able to call on plenty of experience for his opening Guinness Pro12 encounter as head coach of Leinster against Edinburgh in Meggetland tonight (7.35pm).

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Jamie Heaslip: 'I'm sure the next two weeks will creep up on us. That's not to say that Joe and the management team and the video analysts don't already have the work done. When it comes to those two games all the work is done for us.'

Jamie Heaslip fingers crossed as D Day looms

The build-up has been interminable. As always.

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Andrew Trimble gets chance to show his quality as Ulster face Ospreys

Discarded Ireland wing Andrew Trimble gets a chance to show what he is made off as Ulster’s quest for Guinness Pro12 success begins in earnest at the Kingspan Stadium this evening when Ospreys are the visitors.

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Donncha O’Callaghan tipped to make ‘massive’ impact at Worcester Warriors

Donncha O’Callaghan will make a huge impact in the Aviva Premiership this season after his move from his beloved Munster, one of his old team-mates declared last night.

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Ireland quickly refocus for Twickenham tussle

The strength of the England side awaiting Ireland this Saturday at Twickenham was enough to quickly get any minds wandering post-World Cup squad selection back on track and focused on the size of the challenge ahead.

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Munster keen to get Felix Jones and Dave Kilcoyne back in action

The two Munster players jettisonned from Joe Schmidt’s World Cup squad will be reintigrated quickly into Anthony Foley’s Munster grouping for the forthcoming Guinness Pro12 championship campaign.

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Neil Doak looks set to start Luke Marshall at fly-half as Ulster take on Ospreys

International centre Luke Marshall is likely to start as an emergency fly-half when Ulster play the Ospreys in the Guinness Pro12 opener at the Kingspan Stadium tomorrow night.

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Connacht face testing trip to Siberia for cup clash with Russian newcomers

Connacht are facing a trip to Siberia in the European Challenge Cup after losing out in a draw yesterday.

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Keith Wood feels queasy over Joe Schmidt’s scrum-half gamble

Keith Wood was a member of three Irish World Cup squads and he admits that the thoughts of going to the latest tournament with just two specialists in such a specialist position as scrum-half makes him uncomfortable.

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No Healy but Zebo gets another shot at full-back

Cian Healy will have to come cold to the World Cup later this month after the Leinster loosehead was omitted from the Ireland team to face England in the last of the four warm-up games, in Twickenham on Saturday.

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