No dancing around it: NZ vs Ireland in a World Cup knockout
TOKYO (AP) — An Irish critic who enraged New Zealanders by describing the haka as a marketing gimmick may just have sharpened the focus of the All Blacks for the Rugby World Cup...
The Latest: Ireland name 12 who started in recent win vs NZ
TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Thursday at the Rugby World Cup in Japan (all times local):
Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton will set a national record for a halfback pairing when...
Kiwi coaches to the fore in Rugby World Cup quarterfinals
Of the eight teams remaining in the Rugby World Cup four are coached by New Zealanders who, from similar beginnings, pursued divergent coaching careers before their paths intersected at this...
At last the world notices Japan rugby coach Jamie Joseph
For Japan rugby coach Jamie Joseph, recognition and expectation arrived at about the same time and in equal measure.
Joseph has an impressive rugby resume from his native New Zealand but,...
Farrell says Ireland defense must adapt with no excuses
KOBE, Japan (AP) — Three of the four offside calls against Ireland were apparently wrong.
That hasn't stopped Ireland from making sure the chances of being whistled offside again in the...
Sexton returns for Ireland as captain against Russia
For once, Ireland is quite happy to have a short turnaround, playing just five days after its last Rugby World Cup match.
To the Irish, the sooner they get to kick off against Russia on...
Ireland rules out Kearney, Earls for Cup opener v Scotland
TOKYO (AP) — Injured British and Irish Lions backs Rob Kearney and Keith Earls weren't risked by Ireland and won't play against Scotland in their Rugby World Cup opener on Sunday in...
Top-ranked Irish have eyes on the prize at Rugby World Cup
After his top-ranked All Blacks lost to the Irish last November in Dublin, coach Steve Hansen hailed Ireland as the best team in the world.
Sexton back for Ireland, Patchell starting for Wales
DUBLIN (AP) — Flyhalf Jonathan Sexton has recovered from a dislocated left thumb to make his first appearance in Ireland's Rugby World Cup warmups, against Wales on Saturday in...
Ireland restores some mojo after edging Wales in RWC warmup
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Ireland restored some pride by beating Wales 22-17 in a scrappy Rugby World Cup warmup between second-string sides on Saturday.
Ireland trying out backup 10s vs England for RWC role
LONDON (AP) — Ross Byrne and Jack Carty have been urged to make cases as the backup flyhalf for Ireland's Rugby World Cup squad in the warmup game against England on Saturday at...
LONDON (AP) — Wales, and not Ireland, will lead the northern hemisphere's attempt to break the southern hemisphere's dominance at the Rugby World Cup in Japan this year after sweeping the Six...
6N: Roof to be open during storm for Wales-Ireland match
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Wales and Ireland will play their Six Nations rugby decider on Saturday under an open roof at Ireland's request, despite a forecast of rain and 30 kph winds with 60 kph...
DUBLIN (AP) — In the first off week of the Six Nations, a straining Ireland decided to go back to the basics.
It didn't work. In the next match against Italy, Ireland won but gave its...
6N: Ireland near full strength to try and find mojo in Rome
ROME (AP) — Ireland isn't mucking around.
Unlike Wales in the previous round of the Six Nations, there was no thought by the Irish of experimenting against Italy on Sunday at the Stadio...
6N: Toner, Ringrose out injured for Ireland vs Scotland
DUBLIN (AP) — Lock Devin Toner and center Garry Ringrose have been ruled out of Ireland's match against Scotland in the Six Nations.
Toner aggravated an ankle injury and Ringrose's hamstring tightened during the 32-20 loss to England last Saturday at Lansdowne Road.
Both starters were ruled out on Tuesday.
However, the Irish Rugby Football Union said wing Keith Earls trained on Tuesday after he was replaced in the England game because of a hip injury.
Curry and Wilson give England flankers to battle Ireland
DUBLIN (AP) — Coach Joe Schmidt insists there isn't much of a difference between his Ireland side and England.
Yet there is a difference.
The main one is possession. The Irish hog the ball and the English wish they could.
Thanks to overwhelming ball control, Ireland has won their last two rugby matchups, spoiling England's Six Nations Grand Slam bid in 2017 at Lansdowne Road, and clinching their own Grand Slam in 2018 at Twickenham.
6N: Irish ready for England ‘brutality’ in tournament opener
LONDON (AP) — Eddie Jones couldn't help himself. As the England rugby coach passed Joe Schmidt in a hallway, he warned the Ireland coach, "I'll find another couple of grenades to throw in."
He was only half-kidding at the posh Hurlingham Club during the Six Nations launch on Wednesday. The mind games started days ago when Jones stoked the buildup to their opening-round match next week in Dublin by claiming Ireland flyhalf Jonathan Sexton receives preferential treatment from the referees.
Schmidt to quit Ireland, retire from coaching after 2019 RWC
Joe Schmidt will leave as Ireland coach after next year's Rugby World Cup, and seemingly ruled out taking charge of his native New Zealand in the future by saying he was ending his coaching career to focus on his family.
A day after Schmidt was named coach of the year in the World Rugby awards, Ireland announced on Monday he would be quitting his post after six years in charge and be replaced by Andy Farrell, the current defense coach in Ireland's backroom staff.
Sexton named World Rugby Player of the Year in Irish sweep
MONACO (AP) — Ireland flyhalf Johnny Sexton was named World Rugby Player of the Year at a glittering ceremony in Monaco on Sunday, leading a sweep of the major awards by an Ireland team which has swept all before it this season.
Schmidt agonizing over whether to stay as Ireland coach
MAYNOOTH, Ireland (AP) — Joe Schmidt is set to decide on Sunday whether he will stay on as Ireland rugby coach — and is still agonizing over the decision.
Schmidt's contract expires after next year's World Cup in Japan and he is expected to be in demand after guiding his team from eighth to second in the world rankings in five years in the job.
The 53-year-old New Zealander has masterminded Ireland's only two victories over the All Blacks, including the 16-9 win in Dublin last Saturday.
Ireland topple All Blacks 16-9 at home for first time
Ireland is No. 1.
At least to New Zealand coach Steve Hansen.
His All Blacks, the undisputed No. 1 for nine years, lost to the Irish 16-9 on Saturday for the first time in Dublin. Hansen immediately dubbed Ireland the favorite for the Rugby World Cup next year.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, a potential successor to Hansen as All Blacks coach, wasn't fussed about Hansen's comment. The All Blacks won't be officially losing their No. 1 ranking yet.
All Blacks ramp up pressure ahead of test against Ireland
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has wound up pressure on his New Zealand-born Ireland counterpart Joe Schmidt ahead of Saturday's test in Dublin between rugby's top-ranked teams, arguing the winner will be indisputably the best in the world.
Sexton backs Murray missing All Blacks match
DUBLIN (AP) — Jonathan Sexton supports Conor Murray's "smart" call not to make Ireland's showdown with the All Blacks this weekend his first match in five months.
Ireland struggle to put down Pumas 28-17
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland got the scrap it wanted before playing New Zealand as it had to grind past Argentina 28-17 at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt warned his side not to look forward to the world champion All Blacks next weekend, and the Pumas squeezed any lingering slumber out of the Irish with a combative effort that kept the match close for more than an hour.
SYDNEY (AP) — Joe Schmidt says he will likely wait until the end of the year before deciding whether to stay on as Ireland coach beyond the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Schmidt has raised the Six Nations champion to the No. 2 world ranking, behind only New Zealand, heading into Saturday's third and deciding test against Australia in Sydney.
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Australia beat Ireland 18-9 on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in its three-test series with Ireland, ending the Six Nations champions' 12-game unbeaten run.
David Pocock capped a dominant breakdown performance with the winning try and, after a physical start, it was the attacking work of Kurtley Beale and the aerial dominance of Israel Folau that damaged the tourists.
Cheika labels Ireland favorite ahead of 1st test
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Ireland coach Joe Schmidt's decision to bench star flyhalf Johnny Sexton has slightly confounded the effort of Wallabies coach Michael Cheika to paint Ireland an overwhelming favorite to win Saturday's first test match at Suncorp Stadium.
Cheika worked with typical tenacity this week to claim underdog status for the Wallabies as they embark on a series against the No. 2-ranked Irish who are unbeaten in their last 15 games.
6N: Sexton finally gets a Grand Slam after missing 2009
LONDON (AP) — Jonathan Sexton did not finish the game. He had done enough to finish off England, though.
Sexton and especially his fellow senior Ireland teammates finally won the Six Nations Grand Slam they craved when they beat England 24-15 at Twickenham on Saturday.
The Grand Slam was kept alive in the first round when the flyhalf slotted a long-range dropped goal deep in injury time to overcome France 15-13 in Paris.
6N: Ireland earns rare Grand Slam by beating England 24-15
LONDON (AP) — To pull off a Grand Slam in Six Nations rugby, planning, talent and commitment takes you only so far.
"You need some luck," Ireland coach Joe Schmidt added with a grin in the bowels of Twickenham on Saturday.
Schmidt and his side were celebrating Ireland's third clean sweep in the championship, beside 1948 and 2009, after smothering England in a fabulous 24-15 win.
6N: Best urges ref to “protect” Ireland scrum from Wales
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland captain Rory Best is urging referee Glen Jackson to "protect" their scrum when they play Wales in Six Nations rugby on Saturday.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt this week claimed Wales loosehead prop Rob Evans "is a tricky customer, the angles and stepping around," and Best upped the ante on Friday by asserting the hosts' plans to be on their best behavior at the set-piece.
Ireland center Henshaw to miss rest of Six Nations
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland center Robbie Henshaw will miss the final three rounds of the Six Nations rugby tournament because of a shoulder injury.
Henshaw dislocated his shoulder while scoring his second try in Ireland's 56-19 win over Italy on Saturday. He received oxygen on the field and went off with his right arm in a sling.
Last-gasp Sexton dropped goal seals Ireland win vs. France
SAINT-DENIS, France (AP) — When Jonathan Sexton's long-distance dropped goal just crept over the crossbar in the last act of the game, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt celebrated like he was among the delirious fans behind the posts.
Sexton's astonishing effort from 44 meters out on a greasy pitch in the rain settled a tense Six Nations encounter 15-13 in Ireland's favor — moments after France unexpectedly went ahead 13-12 thanks to a superb solo try from right winger Teddy Thomas.
Investigation into Iowa deputy’s firing of gun during chase
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Law enforcement officials in northeastern Iowa have launched an investigation after a Black Hawk County sheriff's deputy fired his gun at a fleeing vehicle last week.
A news release Thursday from the sheriff's office says deputies were helping Waterloo police in a chase on Nov. 22 when Deputy Joe Schmidt fired his service gun at the fleeing vehicle. The office says Schmidt is a 15-year veteran of the department.
Understrength Ireland pip Fiji 23-20 in Dublin
DUBLIN (AP) — An inexperienced Ireland team was given a big scare by Fiji before winning their rugby test 23-20 at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.
Ireland appeared to be coasting to a straight-forward win when they built a 17-3 lead about half an hour in.
But a try on the stroke of halftime by scrumhalf Henry Seniloli and an intercept try by winger Timoci Nagusa five minutes after the break brought Fiji level at 17-17.
Ireland smash Springboks by record 38-3 in Dublin
DUBLIN (AP) — Joe Schmidt was anxious about how his Ireland side would fare against South Africa.
In the Springboks' previous match a month ago, they were pipped by the All Blacks by a point.
But the Springboks were at home. Away from home, they're not the same beast.
So it proved at Lansdowne Road on Saturday, when another mundane South Africa effort was punished by Ireland by a record 38-3.
Ireland beats Japan 35-13 to sweep 2-match series
TOKYO (AP) — Ireland beat Japan 35-13 on Saturday to sweep the two-match series between the 2019 Rugby World Cup group rivals.
Ireland, a 50-22 winner a week ago, took control with four tries in the first half at Ajinomoto Stadium, venue for the opening match of the 2019 tournament.
Ireland makes 6 changes for test against Japan
TOKYO (AP) — Ireland coach Joe Schmidt made six changes to his starting lineup to face Japan in Saturday's rugby test, the final of the visitor's three-match summer tour.
Kieran Treadwell and James Tracy come in for their first starts. Treadwell won his first cap off the bench during last week's 50-22 win over Japan
Josh van der Flier returns at openside flanker while Luke Marshall and Jacob Stockdale return at outside center and on the left wing, respectively.
Ireland makes 6 changes, Japan 5 for rugby test
TOKYO (AP) — Coach Joe Schmidt has made six changes to Ireland's starting lineup to face Japan in Saturday's rugby test, the second of the three-match summer tour.
Andrew Conway, Rory Scannell, Luke McGrath and Dan Leavy will feature in the starting XV for the first time for Ireland, coming in following last weekend's 55-19 victory over the United States.
Ireland slips from world-beaters to Six Nations also-rans
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — The Irish were world-beaters in the autumn.
By the end of next week, they may have slumped to being the fourth-best rugby team in Europe.
Six Nations losses to Scotland, in the competition's opening match, and Wales, in a ferocious encounter in Cardiff on Friday, have taken some of the gloss off a stunning end to 2016 when Ireland gained wins over all three of the southern hemisphere's superpowers.
Sexton’s boot again helps Irish down France 19-9 in Dublin
DUBLIN (AP) — Aided by roaring Dublin fans and drizzling Irish rain, another perfect goalkicking effort by Jonathan Sexton led Ireland over France 19-9 in an often sloppy Six Nations rugby match on Saturday.
Sexton hit two penalties, converted the only try, and struck a 40-meter dropped goal before leaving in the 68th minute with victory in sight in his first match for Ireland since a calf injury in November.
6N: Sexton’s return boosts Ireland for France’s visit
DUBLIN (AP) — Jonathan Sexton did it once. He can do it twice.
That's the total belief Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has in choosing his star flyhalf, who hasn't played rugby in more than a month, and hasn't played for Ireland in more than three months.
A calf strain has sidelined Sexton for five weeks but he's been training fully since Tuesday, when skills coach Richie Murphy said he didn't have a "divine right to get picked."
Best and Sexton return to Ireland rugby team
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland captain Rory Best and flyhalf Jonathan Sexton have returned to the team for the Six Nations match against France in Dublin on Saturday.
Best missed the victory over Italy through illness while Sexton will play his first match in this season's tournament after recovering from a calf strain.
Sexton, who replaces Paddy Jackson at number 10, has not played since he aggravated the injury while playing for Leinster in the European Champions Cup on Jan. 20.
Schmidt names 3 uncapped players for Ireland in Six Nations
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland has name three uncapped players in a 40-man squad for Six Nations matches against Scotland and Italy.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt handed call-ups to Munster players Niall Scannell, Andrew Conway and Rory Scannell.
Flyhalf Johnny Sexton is included despite picking up a calf injury playing for Leinster in the European Champions Cup over the weekend. Sexton is set to undergo a scan to reveal the extent of the injury.
Borthwick, Farrell, Howley to help Gatland on ’17 Lions tour
DUBLIN (AP) — Warren Gatland has the staff he wanted as the British and Irish Lions coach for the toughest assignment in world rugby: Beating the world champion All Blacks in New Zealand next year.
Rob Howley, Andy Farrell, and Steve Borthwick were confirmed as his assistants on Wednesday. All three were widely expected to be chosen.
Irish beat Australia 27-24, end Wallabies’ Grand Slam bid
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland endured a fierce fightback to defeat Australia 27-24 and end the Wallabies' Grand Slam bid at Lansdowne Road on Saturday.
The Irish took an early 17-0 lead but required a late counterattacking try from Keith Earls to put them ahead for good with 13 minutes left.
Ireland’s Jackson, O’Brien, O’Mahony to miss NZ in Chicago
DUBLIN (AP) — Ireland left behind flyhalf Paddy Jackson and flankers Sean O'Brien and Peter O'Mahony when it headed to Chicago on Monday for a test against New Zealand at Soldier Field this weekend.
Coach Joe Schmidt reduced his squad from 34 players to 27, and also trimmed were Keith Earls, Iain Henderson, Luke Marshall, and uncapped hooker James Tracy.
Notre Dame opens practice looking to fill holes on defense
CULVER, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame opened practice Saturday looking to shore up a defense that was shaky at times last season.
The Irish lost six of the top eight tacklers on a defense that ranked 45th in the nation in total defense, allowing 372.7 yards a game.
The biggest challenge is replacing linebackers Jaylon Smith, who led the Irish with 114 tackles, and Joe Schmidt, the team's vocal leader. While three players will compete to replace Smith at weakside...