Ireland

Justin Marshall completely writes off Ireland's chances of upsetting All Blacks

The 46-year-old pundit – who won 81 caps for the All Blacks – slammed Ireland’s playing style and tipped his countrymen to put a big score on Joe Schmidt’s side.

Talking to News hub, Marshall explained: “I’m not convinced they’re as good a side as they have been in the past.”

“They’ve got a little laborious in the way they’ve been attacking. They’re predictable.

“The All Blacks will be up for it and I think we could actually see them put some points on them and win quite comfortably.”

All Blacks team to play Ireland named

The in-form Anton Lienert-Brown and Jack Goodhue will partner in the midfield in an otherwise experienced All Blacks line up.

Joe Moody, Codie Taylor and Nepo Laulala make up the front row, Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock are the starting locks, while Ardie Savea, Sam Cane and Kieran Read are the loose forward trio.

Aaron Smith has been named the starting halfback, Richie Mo'unga at first five, George Bridge and Sevu Reece are on the wings and Beauden Barrett is at fullback.

Bundee Aki handed three week ban

The New Zealand born player was sent off in the 47-5 Pool A win over the Samoans in Fukuoka on Saturday, for a high tackle on UJ Seuteni.

Aki faced a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo on Monday night, contesting the red card decision in a bid to be available for Saturday's World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand.

But the 29-year-old failed in that quest and was hit with a three-week ban, that would even rule him out of the World Cup final, should Ireland make it that far.

Typhoon Hagibis set to wreck Ireland's quarter-finals hopes

A typhoon-watch warning has been issued for their final pool game against Samoa in Fukuoka on Saturday night.

Typhoon Hagibis is developing off the south coast of Japan, and could bring heavy rain and high winds this weekend.

If the match is called off, the two sides would share the points, taking Ireland's quarter-final ambitions out of their hands.

Should Scotland beat Russia with a bonus point and follow that with victory over Japan, the Irish would miss the playoffs and a potential final-eight showdown with the All Blacks. 

Aki hoping to achieve 'proud' moment against Samoa

The Ireland juggernaut centre admitted it would be a source of huge family pride should he get the nod to take on Samoa in Fukuoka on Saturday.

Aki was born in Auckland to Samoan parents and starred with the Chiefs before joining Connacht in 2014, committing to Ireland in both rugby and community.

The 29-year-old conjured a barnstorming performance when Ireland dispatched New Zealand 16-9 in Dublin in November, producing the perfect riposte to All Blacks coach Ian Foster who had questioned his residency qualification.

Rugby hosts Japan stun Ireland 19-12 in massive World Cup upset

The Brave Blossoms came from behind at Shizuoka Stadium with Kenki Fukuoka's second-half try and Yu Tamura's boot beating a side recently ranked number one in the world in a shock to match their victory over twice world champions South Africa at the 2015 World Cup.

While they stunned world rugby then, to win this time in front of an uproarious home crowd with so much focus on Asia's first World Cup was arguably more significant.

Schmidt's frustration over injured Ireland stars

Flanker O’Mahony and centre Aki failed Head Injury Assessments (HIAs) in Ireland’s stunning 27-3 bonus-point win over Scotland in Yokohama on Sunday.

Head coach Schmidt revealed neither Ireland star was showing any concussion symptoms after their opening Pool A encounter – but was left to lament the coupling of a six-day return-to-play process with the same length of time to his side’s next match.

Kiwi coaches seeking their fortunes abroad

Even Sir Graham and Hansen themselves were forced to take a pathway through Wales en route to the top NZ role.

If you're in doubt about which teams to support at the Rugby World Cup when New Zealand aren't playing, this list of Kiwi-coached sides may swing your allegiance.

Joe Schmidt (Ireland)

International teams coached: Ireland (2013-present)

International record: 50-18-1 (72.5 percent)

Tournament titles: Three (Six Nations 2014, 2015, 2018)

Ireland top rankings going into RWC 2019

Saturday's 19-10 victory over Wales was worth just over sixth-tenths of a rating point to Ireland and improves their overall tally to 89.47 points, while the All Blacks remain on 89.40 points following their emphatic 92-7 win against Tonga at Eden Park in Auckland in which winger George Bridge bagged four tries.

In Dublin, Rob Kearney and Hadleigh Parkes traded first-half tries before scores from Tadhg Furlong and James Ryan helped to give captain Rory Best and head coach Joe Schmidt a winning send-off in what was their final home test.

Ireland knock off Wales, France thrash Italy

The Irish, beaten 57-15 by England, won in Cardiff for the first time since August 2015 after scoring three tries in the Rugby World Cup warm-up match, two for Jacob Stockdale and a penalty try bringing Wales' 11-game home winning streak stretching back to November 2017 to an end.

 The two teams meet again next Saturday in Dublin and the defeat will rankle more with Gatland as he remains bitter about the manner in which he was dismissed as head coach by the Irish in 2001.

"It was massive for us," man of the match Jack Carty told Channel 4.