Rugby - World Cup

Team Guide: Ireland

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Team Guide: Ireland - Rugby - World CupReuters
 

IRELAND

Colours: Green shirt, white shorts.

World ranking: 8

Coach: Declan Kidney.

Kidney’s reign began so promisingly in 2009, when he guided Ireland to their first Grand Slam since 1948 and was named IRB Coach of the Year, but his record has dipped since as many of that squad have started to age and their potential replacements have yet to reach the same standard.

Squad:

BACKS Born Caps Tries Cons Pens DGs Pts

Isaac Boss 9/4/80 14 2 0 0 0 10

Tommy Bowe 22/2/84 40 17 0 0 0 85

Gordon D’Arcy 10/2/80 59 7 0 0 0 35

Keith Earls 2/10/87 21 6 0 0 0 30

Rob Kearney 26/3/86 29 6 1 0 0 32

Fergus McFadden 17/6/86 5 1 0 0 0 5

Geordan Murphy 19/4/78 70 18 1 1 1 98

Conor Murray 20/4/89 2 0 0 0 0 0

Brian O’Driscoll 21/1/79 113 44 0 0 5 235

Ronan O’Gara 7/3/77 111 16 165 192 15 1031

Eoin Reddan 20/11/80 32 1 0 0 0 5

Jonathan Sexton 11/7/85 19 1 12 36 1 140

Andrew Trimble 20/10/84 36 8 0 0 0 40

Paddy Wallace 27/8/79 28 2 11 7 0 53

FORWARDS

Rory Best 15/8/82 50 4 0 0 0 20

Tony Buckley 8/10/80 23 1 0 0 0 5

Tom Court 6/11/80 21 0 0 0 0 0

Sean Cronin 6/5/86 13 0 0 0 0 0

Leo Cullen 9/1/78 31 0 0 0 0 0

Stephen Ferris 2/8/85 26 2 0 0 0 10

Jerry Flannery 17/10/78 40 3 0 0 0 15

Cian Healy 7/10/87 21 1 0 0 0 5

Jamie Heaslip 15/12/83 38 7 0 0 0 35

Shane Jennings 8/7/81 10 0 0 0 0 0

Denis Leamy 27/11/81 53 2 0 0 0 10

Sean O’Brien 14/2/87 11 1 0 0 0 5

Donncha O’Callaghan 24/3/79 75 1 0 0 0 5

Paul O’Connell 20/10/79 78 6 0 0 0 30

Mike Ross 21/12/79 10 0 0 0 0 0

Donnacha Ryan 11/12/83 10 0 0 0 0 0

Key player: Brian O’Driscoll.

As the record-holder of the most Irish caps and tries, it could not be anyone else. The source of inspiration for many of Ireland’s best moments in recent years, his presence is vital if they are to get beyond the quarter-finals for the first time.

2010-11 form:

6/11/10 v South Africa (Dublin) L 21-23

13/11/10 v Samoa (Dublin) W 20-10

20/11/10 v New Zealand (Dublin) L 18-38

28/11/10 v Argentina (Dublin) W 29-9

5/2/11 v Italy (Rome) W 13-11

13/2/11 v France (Dublin) L 22-25

27/2/11 v Scotland (Edinburgh) W 21-18

12/3/11 v Wales (Cardiff) L 13-19

19/3/11 v England (Dublin) W 24-8

6/8/11 v Scotland (Edinburgh) L 6-10

13/8/11 v France (Bordeaux) L 12-19

20/8/11 v France (Dublin) L 22-26

27/8/11 v England (Dublin) L 9-20

World Cup pedigree:

Quarter-finals: 1987, 1991, 1995, 2003.

Play-off: 1999.

Group stage: 2007.

Record: P25, W13, D0, L12.

Most appearances: Brian O’Driscoll 13.

Most points: David Humphreys 70.

Most tries: O’Driscoll 6.

Hero: Gordon Hamilton.

For allowing all Ireland to dream of a World Cup semi-final place in 1991 against Australia in Dublin. His rampaging 40-metre run to the corner for a try that was converted by Ralph Keyes nudged the Irish ahead in the dying minutes, only for Michael Lynagh to wreck those dreams soon afterwards.

Villain: Eddie O’Sullivan.

While O’Sullivan guided Ireland to three Triple Crowns when he was coach between 2001 and 2008, he was at the helm for their embarrassing performances at the 2007 World Cup, where they failed to make the knockout stage for the first time.

High:

Bizarrely, Ireland’s most memorable World Cup performance came in defeat, their 19-18 loss to Australia in Dublin in 1991 – when they were beaten by a last-minute Lynagh try – as it was the closest they have come to reaching the semi-finals.

Low:

Probably their scrappy 14-10 pool win over rank outsiders Georgia in 2007, when the Georgians were denied victory by the video referee in the dying seconds. However, Ireland’s failure to score a bonus point eventually led to their exit at the group stage for the first time.

2011 prospects:

They could not have had a worse build-up, having lost all four warm-up games, and they have a history of under-performing at the World Cup, having never progressed beyond the last eight, so the omens are not good. However, they showed what they can do by wrecking England’s Grand Slam hopes in March and their followers must hope they can resurrect that form in New Zealand.

Group matches:

11/9/11 v USA (New Plymouth)

17/9/11 v Australia (Auckland)

25/9/11 v Russia (Rotorua)

2/10/11 v Italy (Dunedin)

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