In a highly anticipated clash at the Rugby World Cup, Ireland is gearing up to face New Zealand in a thrilling encounter set to unfold tonight in Paris. Andy Farrell’s squad, currently the top-ranked team globally, has showcased their prowess with impressive victories over South Africa and Scotland in Pool B. These triumphs have solidified their status as frontrunners in the tournament.
However, a significant challenge lies ahead. Despite consistently reaching the quarter-final stage, Ireland has never advanced to the semi-finals in the history of the World Cup. To break this streak, they must secure a resounding victory, especially since they are up against the formidable All Blacks, who are determined to secure a spot in the semi-finals after a minor setback against France in the tournament opener.
The match is scheduled for Saturday, October 14, 2023, with kick-off at 8 pm BST in the iconic Stade de France, Paris, the same venue where Ireland previously clinched victories against South Africa and Scotland. Fans in the UK can catch the action live and free on ITV1, with coverage starting at 7:15 pm. Additionally, the game will be available for online streaming on the ITVX website and app.
In terms of team news, Ireland’s wingers Mack Hansen and James Lowe have recovered from injuries and are set to start against the All Blacks. Unfortunately, James Ryan couldn’t prove his fitness and is omitted from the squad. New Zealand, on the other hand, has made strategic changes, with Leicester Fainga’anuku earning a place on the left wing after a stellar performance against Uruguay.
Despite New Zealand’s recent dominant form, Ireland has shown exceptional defense throughout the tournament. However, they face a tough challenge against the All Blacks, who have scored 36 tries in their last three victories. The clash promises to be a physical and intense battle, with Ireland aiming to capitalize on their strong defensive game while ensuring their supporters at the Stade de France have plenty to cheer about.
In recent head-to-head encounters, Ireland has emerged victorious in five of the last eight matches against New Zealand, including a notable 32-22 win in Wellington last year. This victory will undoubtedly boost Ireland’s confidence as they strive to outmaneuver the All Blacks once more.
As the match draws near, anticipation and excitement fill the air. With the odds slightly in Ireland’s favor, fans can expect a fiercely contested battle on the rugby field. Will Ireland finally break their quarter-final curse and progress to the semi-finals, or will New Zealand’s might prove insurmountable? Rugby enthusiasts worldwide eagerly await the answer as these two rugby powerhouses clash in what promises to be an unforgettable encounter at the Rugby World Cup.