The Ireland national rugby union team has attended all eight Rugby World Cup tournaments. In all except the two, they reached the quarterfinal round but never advanced to the semi-final round. They have twice placed first in their pool. Ireland has never faced South Africa or England in a World Cup game.
Related: Ireland Schedule
Ireland began the 2019 Rugby World Cup with a victory against Scotland by 27-3 before falling to Japan a week later in the Shizuoka Stadium, 19-12. Following the victories over Samoa and Russia, the quarterfinal matchup against New Zealand was scheduled. Ireland was eliminated from the World Cup at the quarterfinal stage for the eighth time as New Zealand defeated Ireland by 46-14 in Joe Schmidt’s final game as head coach.
- RWC debut: 25 May, 1987 v Wales, at Athletic Park in Wellington
- RWC appearances: Played 40 – Won 24 Drawn 0 Lost 16 – Points for 1,108 Points against 735 – Winning ratio 60 per cent
- Most RWC appearances: Brian O’Driscoll and Paul O’Connell, 17
- Most RWC tries: Keith Earls, 8
- Best finish: Quarter-finalists (1987, 1991, 1995, 2003, 2011, 2015, 2019)
- Qualification for RWC 2023: Quarter-finalists at RWC 2019
Most Famous Victory
In the 2011 RWC, Ireland defeated Australia 15–6 at Eden Park. While Jonathan Sexton and Ronan O’Gara each made two penalties and Sexton added a drop goal, the Irish pack, who were outstanding that day, deserve credit for Ireland’s first-ever Rugby World Cup victory over the then-Tri-Nations champions.
Most Memorable Moment
The famous attempt by Gordon Hamilton against Australia is yet the most famous memorable moment for Ireland Rugby. The flanker’s magnificent run to the line gave Ireland the lead and optimism that they may defeat the Wallabies, but ultimately Ireland experienced further heartbreak in the quarterfinal. After a frantic run, he crashed over, sending Lansdowne Road into a frenzy. However, the eventual winners, Australia, maintained their calm and won the game with a last-second try by Michael Lynagh.
Before their RWC 2015 quarterfinal in Cardiff, Ireland dominated in their previous five encounters with Argentina. The Los Pumas team, however, destroyed them after taking a 17-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Ireland had been one of the top teams up until that moment, which made the final score against them of 43-20 all the more unexpected.
To me, Michael O’Driscoll is the Irish Rugby Team’s top player. Most of Brian O’Driscoll’s memorable performances came out during the Six Nations, but the center still scored seven tries in a tournament-record 17 appearances. In 2007 and 2011, eight of their outings were as captains.
Top Record Breaker
Ireland’s all-time highest scorer in Rugby World Cups is Ronan O’Gara. In 14 outings, the legendary Munster player scored 93 points, 15 more than Johnny Sexton, the 2018 World Rugby Player of the Year.
Ireland’s Tentative Squad
Andy Farrell named his 42-man squad on Tuesday soon after Munster’s triumph in the URC, as the world number one side ramp up preparations.
Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Gavin Coombes, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Joe McCarthy, Peter O’Mahony, Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, Cian Prendergast, James Ryan, Dan Sheehan, Tom Stewart, Kieran Treadwell, Josh van der Flier
Bundee Aki, Caolin Blade, Ross Byrne, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Keith Earls, Ciaran Frawley, Jamison Gibson-Park, Mack Hansen, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan, James Lowe, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Calvin Nash, Jimmy O’Brien, Jamie Osborne, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton, Jacob Stockdale.