What are Ireland’s chances of winning Rugby World Cup™ 2019?
Dominating the 2018 Six Nations in ‘Grand Slam’ style, followed up with their first home field win against New Zealand, through to having the bulk of the Ireland squad winning the European Rugby Champions Cup in 2018 and being in the finals again in 2019, Ireland is looking its most competitive ever.
However, with other rising nations like Wales ready to stand in their way, and a disappointing 2019 Six Nations, what are Ireland’s chances of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup at Rugby World Cup 2019?
STH Live is looking at Ireland’s odds of breaking out of their pool, and whether or not they can make it to the finals and possibly lift the Webb Ellis Cup in 2019. So what are Ireland’s chances of winning Rugby World Cup 2019?
Headed by the ‘best’ captain in world rugby, Rory Best, and populated with class-leading talent with the likes of Conor Murray, Sean O’Brien, and 2018 World Rugby Player of the Year Jonathan Sexton, Ireland has one of the fullest rosters of talent we have seen in some time. Similar to how New Zealand fills their national side with winners from domestic level, notably the Crusaders, Ireland have looked to fill their team with winners from Leinster.
As the third-ranked team in the world at the moment, Ireland have been very lucky being in Pool A, which offers them a good chance of winning all their games without breaking too much of a sweat. In Pool A, we see them with their best chance of a straight trip to the quarter-finals, with Scotland being the only side we could see causing an upset, but again never count out the Japanese as we saw at Rugby World Cup 2015 when they famously beat South Africa.
Our predictions for Ireland’s pool matches are below – do you think we have these right?
Ireland 23 – 11 Scotland
Ireland 32 – 13 Japan
Ireland 78 – 5 Russia
Ireland 44 – 17 Samoa
One of the big advantages of not being in Pool B is not having to face New Zealand or South Africa so early at Rugby World Cup 2019, as both are always seen as being Rugby World Cup finalists. For Ireland, the disadvantage is that when they come out on top of their pool, they are guaranteed to face one of them in the quarter-finals. We believe that the second place of Pool B will go to South Africa. This could possibly be another record for Joe Schmidt’s men, as on current form we see that the strength of their 2019 squad will bring them their first ever victory in a Rugby World Cup quarter-final against the Springboks.
STH Live quarter-final prediction:
Ireland 24 – 18 South Africa
For the semi-finals, we believe that Wales are going to surprise many who say they are the kings of choking at Rugby World Cups (Wales usually have trouble making it out of the quarter-finals), but with their 2019 Grand Slam victory, over Ireland of all teams, they have significant momentum behind them. Wales has won two of the three Rugby World Cup matches against Ireland in the past, so the odds are stacked towards the men in red, but here is where we think that their momentum is going to stop, with Ireland having strengthened their roster significantly since their last meeting and having had more key players playing in ‘finals-footy’ during 2019.
STH Live semi-final prediction:
Ireland 17 – 15 Wales
With such a competitive set of finals, Ireland’s opposition in the final could likely be England, the other European team with a significant chance of winning, or New Zealand, current world number ones. Either way, one will eliminate the other, and we think Ireland has just as good a chance of facing either. One might think that the All Blacks, ever the favourites to win the whole thing, would be the biggest challenge, but after losing to England in the Six Nations (on home soil) that fixture would make an excellent rematch and would be the first ever all-Northern hemisphere final.
With Wales, England, Ireland, South Africa, and New Zealand all serious contenders for the Webb Ellis Cup this year, it’s hard to call it in any direction but the one thing that’s beyond a doubt is that the competition is poised to be one of the most exciting in a decade. STH can ensure you do not miss it, with the best seats available at all of Ireland’s games available right here.