Rugby World Cup 2019: Ireland

World ranking: Third

Qualification: 2015 quarter-finalists

Best result: Quarter-finals 1987, 91, 95, 2003, 11, 15

TAB odds: $7.50

Chances: Two wins over the All Blacks in as many years have established the Irish as bona fide contenders for the title. Those results show that, on their day, they can beat anyone.

How will they handle that expectation? As defending champions, they fell short in this year's Six Nations, losing to Wales and England, so their temperament is in question.

Leading players:


Pool draw (NZT)
September 22
Ireland v Scotland, Yokohama City, 7:45pm (live updates)

September 28
Japan v Ireland, Shizuoka Prefecture, 7:15pm (live updates)

October 3
Ireland v Russia, Kobe City, 11:15pm

October 12
Ireland v Samoa, Fukuoka City, 11:45pm