There were some new faces at today's GUINNESS PRO12 season launch in London, including newly-appointed Leinster head coach Leo Cullen and stand-in captain Kevin McLaughlin. Check out some photos from the event at Diageo headquarters.
As stars of Ireland's Six Nations-winning campaign were shining at the Women's Sevens Dublin tournament, there were also stellar performances from fellow internationals such as Ireland captain Niamh Briggs, Ailis Egan and Sophie Spence in the fifteen-a-side game in the opening round of the IRFU Women's Interprovincial Championship. Kate Rowan reviews the action.
Portadown RFC and the Sportsground in Galway play host to the two opening fixtures of this season's IRFU Women's Interprovincial Championship as Ulster entertain Leinster and Connacht tackle defending champions Munster. Kate Rowan previews Saturday's games.
The eagerly-awaited 2015/16 IRFU Women's Interprovincial Championship begins this weekend. Niamh Briggs and Lesley Megarity, the respective new Munster and Ulster captains, previewed the competition with Irish Rugby TV.
The opening fixtures this Saturday see defending champions Munster clashing with Connacht at the Sportsground and Leinster, last year's runners-up, face Ulster at Portadown RFC. Both games kick off at 3pm.
It might be a pre-season friendly, but Friday night's game against Leinster at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm) promises to be a game to remember for Ulster's new signing Sam Windsor - in more ways than one.
The 2015/16 European Champions Cup will kick off in style when Leicester Tigers host Stade Francais in a mouthwatering round 1 clash at Welford Road on Friday, November 13. The Pool 4 meeting of the two-time winners and the reigning Top 14 champions - live on BT Sport - is just one of a number of heavyweight confrontations scheduled for the opening weekend of Europe's elite club tournament.
The provinces have been busy both on and off the pitch in recent weeks, with the new GUINNESS PRO12 season now just weeks away. Check out some photos from the four camps, courtesy of Inpho Photography and Dickson Digital.
International rugby returns this weekend when Ireland travel to Cardiff to take on Wales at a sold-out Millennium Stadium. The match will serve as a warm-up for the sides ahead of the Rugby World Cup and will give players on both teams the opportunity to make a claim for selection.
The 2015/16 GUINNESS PRO12 campaign will kick off on Friday, September 4 with last season's beaten semi-finalists - Ulster and the Ospreys - going head-to-head at Kingspan Stadium, and Leinster visiting Edinburgh.
The draw for this year's Limerick World Club 7s tournament at Thomond Park took place earlier today, with all four Irish provinces taking part for the first time. Notably, Connacht and Ulster have been drawn together in Pool C.
Beaten semi-finalists this past season, Leinster have been handed the stiffest of draws in the 2015/16 European Champions Cup - they have reigning European champions Toulon, Aviva Premiership runners-up Bath and resurgent Wasps for company in Pool 5.
Ulster fell at the penultimate hurdle in the GUINNESS PRO12 play-offs for the second year in a row, losing tonight's semi-final by two points to Glasgow Warriors who qualify for their second consecutive final.
Ulster's three previous GUINNESS PRO12 visits to Scotstoun Stadium have all ended in defeat, but with a reinforced starting line-up the province looked well placed to gain revenge on Glasgow Warriors in Friday's semi-final showdown.
Ulster will return to Scotstoun Stadium next Friday night for an intriguing GUINNESS PRO12 play-off after they lost their last regular season game against Glasgow while Munster and the Ospreys both won.