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The question that is asked every World Cup cycle is whether Ireland have peaked too early. There are fears this may be the case again with Ireland sitting number one in the World Rugby rankings following a Grand Slam in the Six Nations. Ireland have looked unstoppable over the past twelve months with a tour victory in New Zealand and wins over South Africa and Australia in the autumn. 

However, the 'luck of the Irish' doesn't exist in rugby. Ireland have never made it past the quarter finals at a World Cup. The men in green have played in seven quarter finals and lost them all. Seven clearly wasn't their lucky number either. This hoodoo may not be broken at this World Cup either. Ireland will almost certainly face New Zealand or France in the quarters at this tournament. Along with Ireland, they are the two teams to beat right now. The omens are already there with Leinster falling to a second half comeback against La Rochelle at home in the Aviva Stadium in the Champions Cup Final.

Andy Farrell has fine-tuned his side. Ireland look incredibly dangerous in attack with Johnny Sexton at the helm. Ireland are able to put the ball through the hands but have an equally dangerous kicking game which particularly targets the flanks of teams with their wingers. Ireland will also be reliant on their forward pack. Openside flanker, Josh Van der Flier, was named World Player of the Year in 2022. There are countless other world class operators in that Ireland pack including: Sheehan, Beirne, Furlong and Ryan. Ireland have the players. They have the team cohesion. They have the coach. But do they have that extra rub of the green this time?

Key Facts


World Cup Titles

Quarter Finals


Best RWC Finish

World Rugby Ranking
(as of 27th August)

Andy Farrell

Head Coach

Josh Van der Flier


Johnny Sexton


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