The British & Irish Cup resumes this weekend, with four of the pools topped by English Championship sides and a fifth headed by reigning champions Leinster 'A'. Girvan Dempsey's young side are in a three-way battle with Jersey and Saturday's opponents Carmarthen Quins for top spot in Pool 5.
Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss insists that despite the squad's impressive GUINNESS Series results, nothing is guaranteed as they head into a busy 2015 that begins with their Six Nations title defence.
Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss lined out today in Clontarf Rugby Club as Ulster Bank, Official Community Rugby Partner to the IRFU, announced that the Ulster Bank League Awards are returning for a third successive year.
Kevin McLaughlin was removed from the field of play with suspected concussion during Leinster's GUINNESS PRO12 draw with Benetton Treviso last Sunday. He is currently following the return-to-play protocols and will not be involved against the Ospreys this weekend.
Ruan Pienaar has represented Ulster the same amount of times that he has played for South Africa - 80 times. The knee injury that he sustained against the All Blacks in the summer has meant that he has not been able to add to his tally for either province or country in recent months. However, he says that his return to play is edging closer:
The Ireland Under-20s will begin their World Rugby Under-20 Championship campaign against Argentina in Parma next June, following confirmation of the match schedule and kick-off times for the 2015 tournament.
As the international period draws to a close, Ireland are the only PRO12 Union to record three straight wins during the autumn. Victory over Australia combined with their earlier win over South Africa maintained their third place position in the World Rugby Rankings.