The 10th edition of the Rugby World Cup will kick-off on Friday night when the hosts welcome the All-Blacks to Stade de France (RTE2 8:15pm). Ireland’s own tournament gets underway the following afternoon in Bordeaux as Andy Farrell’s men take on underdogs Romania. Tonga are next up in Nantes a week later, before the probable pool decider against the Springboks in Paris on Saturday 23rd September. The final pool game is once again at the Stade de France two weeks later against Six Nations rivals Scotland.
Ireland have never entered a World Cup tournament in such a promising position. The grand slam was secured with a victory over England at Lansdowne Road on the 18th of March. They are the number one ranked side in the world and are unbeaten in 13 matches. Despite all that, there is a nagging feeling that our quarter-final curse will strike again. As a nation our track record at the sports premier tournament is unfortunately one of underachievement.
In this series, I’ll take a look back at Ireland’s track record at the previous nine tournaments. For the sake of context, I’ll first take a look at why the sport took so long to organise a global tournament. Over a hundred years passed from the formation of the International game until the first World Cup was held in Australia in 1987.
Then in the following nine parts, I’ll go tournament by tournament looking at each from an Irish perspective.
2007 Rugby World Cup
2011 Rugby World Cup
2015 Rugby World Cup
2019 Rugby World Cup