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RugbyU: O'Driscoll departs Dublin to standing ovation

Irish rugby icon Brian O'Driscoll received a standing ovation as he was replaced on the hour mark during the Six Nations match with Italy at Lansdowne Road on Saturday. The 35-year-old centre -- who won a record 140th cap when he took to the pitch -- created three of Ireland's tries to bow out on a high note as it was his last Test appearance in front of his home crowd. He is set to end his international career in Paris next Saturday against France. pi/dj

RugbyU: Ireland team to play Italy

Ireland team announced Thursday to play Italy in a Six Nations international at Dublin's Lansdowne Road on Saturday (1430GMT kick-off): Ireland (15-1) Rob Kearney; Andrew Trimble, Brian O'Driscoll, Gordon D'Arcy, Dave Kearney; Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray; Jamie Heaslip, Chris Henry, Iain Henderson; Paul O'Connell (capt), Devin Toner; Mike Ross, Rory Best, Cian Healy Replacements: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Martin Moore Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy, Eoin Reddan, Paddy Jackson, Fergus McFadden afp

RugbyU: Ireland boss Schmidt wants home comfort

Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has said strong home form could be the key to his side's Six Nations title chances. The New Zealander's adopted country welcome Scotland and Wales to Dublin in the opening two rounds of the Championship next month. However, they face just a six-day turnaround between those matches and Schmidt said how Ireland coped with those Aviva Stadium clashes would set the tone for their tournament. "If we could defend the Aviva that would be great," said Schmidt at the Six Nations launch in London on Wednesday.

RugbyU: Ireland's O'Connell stays loyal to Munster

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell has turned down a potentially lucrative move to France in order to sign a new two-year central contract that will keep him at Munster until at least 2016. Monday's announcement by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) means the 34-year-old lock is now set to see out his career with his home province. O'Connell's decision, coming shortly before the start of the Six Nations next month, will be a welcome boost to the IRFU as it bids to keep its top players at home and out of the hands of wealthy French clubs.

RugbyU: Ireland's O'Connell syas loyal to Munster

Ireland captain Paul O'Connell has turned down a potentially lucractive move to France in order to sign a new two-year central contract that will keep him at Munster until at least 2016. Monday's announcement by the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) means the 34-year-old lock is now set to see out his career with his home province. O'Connell's decision, coming shortly before the start of the Six Nations next month, will be a welcome boost to the IRFU as it bids to keep its top players at home and out of the hands of wealthy French clubs.

RugbyU: Ireland's O'Brien in doubt for Six Nations

Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien could miss the Six Nations championship after suffering a dislocated shoulder which requires surgery, his club Leinster confirmed on Monday. O'Brien, who made his British and Irish Lions debut in the second Test against Australia in June, injured himself during Saturday's inter-provincial clash against Ulster. The 26-year-old was forced off after 53 minutes in the tie which Leinster won.

RugbyU: Scrum-half Murray signs new two-year deal with Munster

Ireland scrum-half Conor Murray will stay at Munster until June 2016 after signing a new two-year contract with the Irish rugby federation (IRFU). The 24-year-old has won 22 caps for Ireland and was also selected for the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia, featuring in seven of the tour matches including the final two Tests. "I am thrilled to sign a new IRFU contract and to continue playing my rugby with Munster," said Murray, who has seen half-back partner Jonathan Sexton move to Racing-Metro in the Top 14.

RugbyU: Edinburgh end Munster jinx in style

Edinburgh ended a run of six successive defeats by two-time European Cup winners Munster in style on Saturday with a 29-23 victory over the Irish province in their opening European Cup Pool Five clash. Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw was the driving force, kicking 19 points including converting the two Edinburgh tries as they made an impressive start to their campaign. Munster, who also lost their opening pool match last term, took the consolation of a defensive bonus point.

RugbyU: Ireland squad for USA, Canada tour

Ireland's 28-player squad named on Sunday for the upcoming tour of the United States and Canada:

RugbyU: Aussie O'Connor lands Leinster role

Australia's Matt O'Connor has been appointed as the new head coach of Leinster on a three-year deal starting on July 1, the Irish province announced Monday. The 42-year-old O'Connor, currently with English giants Leicester, will take over from Joe Schmidt following the New Zealander's appointment as Ireland coach in succession to Declan Kidney. Former Australia international O'Connor has been with Leicester, working under Richard Cockerill, since 2009 and in that time has helped the Tigers win two Premiership titles.
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