Ireland

Ireland's Payne forced to retire

The 32-year-old was hurt in a tour match against the Chiefs on June 20 and has been struggling with headache-related problems ever since.

Consequently, Payne – who earned 20 Ireland caps – will end his playing career and take up a role as defence coach with Ulster, the Pro14 side have confirmed.

"It's been a good ride but unfortunately every good thing has to come to an end," he told Ulster's official website.

"Playing rugby has taken me to places I never thought I'd see and allowed me to meet people I never thought I'd meet. 

Ireland claim historic grand slam

The Irish made light of sleet and biting wind and an England team desperate to avoid a third successive defeat as they deservedly led 21-5 at halftime with tries by Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander and the prolific Jacob Stockdale.

England, unbeaten at home in the Six Nations since 2012, managed tries by Elliot Daly in each half, but were unable to gain a foothold in the face of ferocious Irish defence.

Ireland rise to number two in rugby rankings

Ireland's win over Scotland at the weekend and England's loss to France, means the two teams swap position on the rankings table.

It's the first time Ireland have been number two since August 2015.

Ireland are now on 87.85 points - over six behind the world's number one team New Zealand, and 0.35 in front of England, who they face at Twickenham this weekend as they go in pursuit of only their third Grand Slam.

Australia are at four followed by South Africa, Scotland and Wales.

Six Nations: Ireland win 2018 title

Ireland's earlier four-try, 28-8 win over Scotland had left England needing a bonus-point victory in Paris to keep their title hopes alive.

It is Ireland's third title in five years under Joe Schmidt but Johnny Sexton said celebrations were "muted".

They will win the Grand Slam if they beat England next Saturday.

"It's a strange feeling to win the championship with a game to go," said Irish fly-half Sexton.

Henshaw ruled out of Six Nations

Henshaw appeared to dislocate his shoulder as he scored his second try of the comfortable win in Dublin, the Leinster back leaving the field with his injured right arm in a sling.

Coach Joe Schmidt had hoped there would be good news about the centre, but scans on Monday confirmed Henshaw would need an operation.

The 24-year-old has already had surgery to correct the problem but that means he will play no further part in the tournament.

Flying Fijians seek big improvements

The Pacific Nations Cup holders opened their Northern Tour with a 19-10 defeat by Italy in Catania at the weekend, who the home side avenging their loss in Suva in June.

The result denied Fiji a chance to overtake France in the test rankings and coach John McKee said they struggled for cohesion with the squad having come together at short notice from all corners of the globe.

"We had some good individual performances but probably our key combinations didn't operate as well as we needed to to put the Italians under any sort sustained pressure," he said.

Ireland put record score on Boks

Allister Coetzee's side came to Dublin having recovered from a 57-0 thrashing to New Zealand in Albany in September by pushing the world champions to within a point a month later but it was back to the drawing board at the Aviva Stadium.

"It's a tough day, it's not what any of us wanted. We've no excuses and we're going to have to rectify this, us and the management," South Africa captain Eben Etzebeth told a news conference.

Ireland in top form ahead of Kumuls clash

Great focus ahead of the game, the Ireland squad is looking forward to facing home side PNG Kumuls tomorrow (Nov 5).

This morning’s captain’s run was Ireland’s way of getting into the momentum following the week’s public outreach with National Capital District residents.

Tomorrow’s clash against the PNG LNG Kumuls will determine who ends up in the quarter finals, making it out of the pool matches and PNG hopes to be that team after they overcome this Ireland outfit.

Stylish Irish cruise past Azzurri

Having scored just 14 points at the 2013 World Cup, the Irish matched that tally inside 20 minutes and then kicked on in the second half after the Azzurri had threatened a comeback with tries either side of the interval. 

Ireland on path to growing rugby league

"To be fair, that's not a bad crowd in Ireland," says captain Liam Finn.

Finn may or may not surpass Bob Beswick – absent from this tour as his wife is expecting – as Ireland's most capped player during this World Cup tour, with the uncertainty due to the fact that he believes he has more than Beswick's 25 Irish caps already.

"Who's got more? Bob Beswick? I'm sure I've got more," says Finn, who on a number of websites is credited with 24 international caps.