Canada and Australia have already pulled out of this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo but their Irish counterparts, while all but accepting that a postponement is inevitable, have refrained from the nuclear option for now.
Phil Hogan, the European trade commissioner, has warned that Europe’s ties with the UK will undergo a “massive” change when the post-Brexit transition period ends — regardless of whether both sides reach a trade deal by their year-end deadline.
Shirley McCay says she is “not one for the spotlight” but there is something extra special about the big stage that awaits her 300th international cap today in Ireland’s Olympic qualifier against Canada at Energia Park (7pm, live on RTÉ2).
Around the same time that Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe was breaking down the facts and figures of his Budget, the South Africans were crunching numbers and opponents of their own when hammering Canada 66-7 in Kobe.
The vibes around Ireland’s World Cup adventure are not good. Defeat to Japan and the unimpressive win against Russia have given new life to the theory that this team’s peak is in the past, even as they look to the future and a bid for rugby’s summit.
This becomes a delicate balancing act now. There are some very smart people in the Irish backroom team with Joe Schmidt, but this is mostly about the Irish players and the World Cup. You can see the confidence is skin deep at the moment, it’s not in their bones.