Rugby World Cup: All Blacks embrace fear of failure heading into monumental quarter-final

The All Blacks have made it clear they cannot wait for a chance to knock off a team they now see as international rugby's standard bearers in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final this weekend. 

The intensity of this rivalry with Ireland has grown immensely in recent years, with another chapter set to be added on Sunday.  

And while the fear of failure - and the prospect of history - are motivating factors for both teams, the All Blacks have reminded their opponents of exactly what's at stake at Stade de France. 

Back in Paris and on the stage they crave, there's nowhere the All Blacks would rather be, as they prepare for fireworks in the French capital. 

"All our dreams and hopes for this World Cup were to come to Paris, and now we're here for real, and it's in our control how long we are," said All Blacks veteran Aaron Smith. 

Jason Ryan and Aaron Smith.
Jason Ryan and Aaron Smith. Photo credit: Getty Images

Clearly, they want to be for another three games but standing in their way is a red-hot Irish outfit showing no signs of slowing down. 

A loss on Sunday would be just the All Blacks second ever at the quarter-final stage. 

"Are we scared of failure? No. Do we embrace the legacy and what we want to achieve? Yes, we walk towards it," said assistant coach Jason Ryan. 

Centre Rieko Ioane added: "We don't like a glass half empty view on things." 

And as the All Blacks look to avoid an historic loss, Ireland are looking to create a special slice of history. 

A win would take them past the quarter final stage of a World Cup for the first time, and having dominated the All Blacks in recent years, they're widely favoured to do so again this weekend.  

"They've earned that right. Their record in the last two years has really proved that," said Smith.  

"But we're at a World Cup. We're playing in a final and it's all on the line." 

Ireland have dominated this rivalry of late, winning four of the last six encounters, including last years historic series win in New Zealand.  

"Last year doesn't matter when it comes to finals footy," said Ioane. "The team on the day will be the one. 

This is where the players want to be, where the coaches want to be. It's where the All Blacks want to be," added Ryan. 

The All Blacks have no shortage of belief as the next chapter in one of their most intense rivalries gets ready to be written. 

Join Newshub from 8am Sunday for live updates of the Rugby World Cup quarter-final between the All Blacks and Ireland