Here’s The Ireland Team We Reckon Will Start Against New Zealand In The World Cup

The big one.

Ireland secured a World Cup quarter-final spot on Saturday with a bonus-point win over Samoa – but Japan’s win over Scotland yesterday meant they finished second in Pool A, setting up a meeting with holders New Zealand in the last eight.

Joe Schmidt’s side have so far failed to really impress at the World Cup and head into the game as massive underdogs despite beating the All Blacks in Dublin the last time they met.

Since that famous win in November of last year, Ireland have declined somewhat, going on to lose against England (twice), Wales and Japan in a disappointing 2019. But at the same time, we know Ireland are capable of showing up on Saturday and defeating the All Blacks. It just depends on what Ireland team shows up.

In terms of selection, while we might not necessarily agree with it, we have a fair idea of what team Joe Schmidt will put out. We’d love to see Andrew Conway make the squad for example, and maybe even a start for Jordan Larmour.

And if you want to be super critical – Dave Kilcoyne is probably a better option than Cian Healy right now and we’d probably prefer to see Tadhg Beirne start instead of Iain Henderson.

But unfortunately, Schmidt has become all too predictable and we don’t expect too many surprises. We could be wrong, but either way, the team below m is more than capable of beating New Zealand.

Anyway, here’s the team we expect to be named later this week, providing all are fit and ready to go.

Ireland vs New Zealand, Rugby World Cup Quarter-Final

15. Rob Kearney
14. Keith Earls
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Johnny Sexton
9. Conor Murray

1. Cian Healy
2. Rory Best (c)
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Iain Henderson
5. James Ryan
6. Peter O’Mahony
7. Josh van der Flier
8. CJ Stander

Replacements: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Beirne, Rhys Ruddock, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery, Jordan Larmour.