Picking the Ireland team to take on Romania in their Rugby World Cup opener

Not long to go.

The wait is almost over. The 2023 edition of the Rugby World Cup is set to kick off in France this week and we are excited, to say the least.

Tournament hosts France will kick things off on Friday night with a mouth-watering encounter against the All Blacks before Ireland get their campaign underway against Romania on Saturday afternoon.

Ireland boss Andy Farrell named his 33-man squad last week, with the team arriving in France over the weekend as match week commences. Captain Johnny Sexton returns from his ban for the opener and is expected to start as he looks to get some much-needed minutes under his belt.

Elsewhere, it’s tricky to see how Farrell will play this one. Ireland will no doubt be looking ahead to the fact that they still have South Africa and Scotland to come in their pool, and Tonga will be no pushovers next week.

It really depends on how some players feel after the Samoa game with the likes of Jimmy O’Brien and Robbie Henshaw picking up knocks. With that, here’s the team we’d like to see start that opening game against Romania.


15. Hugo Keenan
14. Keith Earls
13. Garry Ringrose
12. Stuart McCloskey
11. James Lowe
10. Johnny Sexton (captain)
9. Conor Murray

1. Dave Kilcoyne
2. Rob Herring
3. Tom O’Toole
4. Iain Henderson
5. Joe McCarthy
6. Ryan Baird
7. Peter O’Mahony
8. Caelan Doris

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