Ireland will be heading into their quarter-final match with the All Blacks knowing that they have the tools to beat the world champions.
The Irish have never made it past the quarter-finals stage at a World Cup, but most players in the current side have tasted victory against the All Blacks.
In fact, every single player in Joe Schmidt’s starting team has beaten the All Blacks before, either in their history-making win in Chicago in 2016 or last year in Dublin.
The scenes from after the final whistle will long be remembered by both New Zealand and Irish fans.
In 2018, this time on home turf, the Irish got the better of New Zealand for the second time, winning 16-9 in front of a raucous Dublin crowd.
As most will know, both those wins for Ireland came while a New Zealander was, and still is, the head coach – Palmerston North’s own Joe Schmidt.
In total, the All Blacks have come out on top in 28 of the 31 encounters, Ireland two, and drawn once.
The most points the All Blacks have ever put on Ireland was 66 in their 66-28 win at Yarrow Stadium in New Plymouth in 2010
The biggest winning margin was 60 when the All Blacks kept Ireland scoreless at Waikato Stadium in 2012.
Ireland’s biggest winning margin was of course the Chicago victory (40-29) which is also the most points they’ve ever scored against New Zealand.
New Zealand holds the upper hand when it comes to total points scored, scoring 871 to Ireland’s 375 but Ireland have won two of the last three encounters since 2016.
And when it comes to neutral venues like Tokyo Stadium will be, both teams have won one each – Ireland’s came in Chicago in 2016 and New Zealand’s came in the 1995 Rugby World Cup at Ellis Park Johannesburg.
Looking at this World Cup, Ireland famously lost to Japan in Group A to finish second in their pool while New Zealand went unbeaten (including the cancellation of their match against Italy) to finish top of Group B.
Schmidt’s starting side suggests that Ireland are relying on experience and proven ability in test rugby.
Ireland brought back experienced duo Rob Kearney and Peter O’Mahony, while Garry Ringrose replaces the suspended Bundee Aki who was suspended after his red card against Samoa.
Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray make for a potent duo, while the Irish tight five was an easy selection for Schmidt, with Cian Healy, Rory Best and Tadhg Furlong making up the front row, and James Ryan and Iain Henderson the locking combination.
Young rising star Jordan Larmour, who had onlookers calling for him to start after he shone against Samoa, will start on the bench.
Irish rugby journalist Murray Kinsella believes Schmidt decided to start more experienced players because of their past performances against the All Blacks.
“Schmidt resisted the temptation to throw a cat amongst the pigeons by selecting Jordan Larmour or Tadhg Beirne or Rhys Ruddock in his starting XV – all three feature on the bench – but it’s understandable that he has gone for Rob Kearney and Peter O’Mahony,” Kinsella wrote in Irish publication The 24.
Ireland team to face the All Blacks in Tokyo:
- Rob Kearney, 14. Keith Earls, 13. Garry Ringrose, 12. Robbie Henshaw, 11. Jacob Stockdale, 10. Johnny Sexton, 9. Conor Murray, 8. CJ Stander, 7. Josh Van der Flier, 6. Peter O’Mahony, 5. James Ryan, 4. Iain Henderson, 3. Tadhg Furlong, 2. Rory Best (c), 1. Cian Healy.
Reserves: 16. Niall Scannell, 17. Dave Kilcoyne, 18. Andrew Porter, 19. Tadhg Beirne, 20. Rhys Ruddock, 21. Luke McGrath, 22. Joey Carbery, 23. Jordan Larmour
Ireland team that beat the All Blacks 40-29 in Chicago (2016):
Rob Kearney, Andrew Trimble, Jared Payne, Robbie Henshaw, Simon Zebo, Jonathan Sexton, Conor Murray, Jack McGrath, Rory Best (c), Tadhg Furlong, Donnacha Ryan, Devin Toner, CJ Stander, Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip.
Reserves: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Josh van der Flier, Kieran Marmion, Joey Carbery, Garry Ringrose.
Ireland team that beat the All Blacks 16-9 in Dublin (2018):
Rob Kearney, Keith Earls, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Jonathan Sexton, Kieran Marmion, CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier, Peter O’Mahony, James Ryan, Devin Toner, Tadhg Furlong, Rory Best (c), Cian Healy.
Reserves: Sean Cronin, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Iain Henderson, Jordi Murphy, Luke McGrath, Joey Carbery, Jordan Larmour.
How to watch the 2019 Rugby World Cup from outside your country
If you’re abroad this weekend and try to watch your domestic Rugby World Cup coverage, you’ll be metaphorically rucked off the ball due to geo-blocking. That stops you watching your home feed online wile in a foreign country.
That’s where the use of a VPN comes in, as it helps you tune into those fixtures no matter where you are in the world without resorting to some dodgy feed on Reddit. And best of all, it’s really easy to do (or read on for details on how to stream coverage from Ireland, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada and the USA).
We’ve tested hundreds of VPNs and can recommend these as the best VPN services currently available:
- ExpressVPN (comes with a 30 day money back guarantee) This is the #1 rated best VPN in the world right now largely thanks to its epic levels of security, speed, ease-of-use and compatibility putting it to the top of the list. You can try it out for a month for free or sign up for an annual plan to get 49% off and 3 months extra absolutely FREE.
- NordVPN SmartPlay tech makes NordVPN a great choice for streaming. It’s really affordable, too
- IPVanish supports up to 10 devices, so great on the go
Setting things up is super simple. Once you’ve chosen you’re VPN provider and installed their software, you simply open the VPN app, hit ‘choose location’ and select the appropriate location. Choose any country showing the Rugby World Cup and watch as if you were in that part of the world.