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RWC Pool A Preview – Ireland vs Scotland

One of the classical derby encounters in rugby will take place in day three of RWC 2019. In being in the same pool as the hosts both Ireland and Scotland will be seeking a first-up victory to ease their pathway to the Quarter Finals.

Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt has named a formidable line-up. Even with Keith Earls and Rob Kearney ruled out there is firepower in the back-three with Andrew Conway, Jacob Stockdale and Jordan Larmour starting.

Elsewhere in the backs Ireland have named a side demonstrating continuity. This sees Conor Murray and Jonathan Sexton playing together in the halves in a third Rugby World Cup; with New Zealand import Bundee Aki partnering Garry Ringrose in the centers.

In the forwards veteran Rory Best will captain the side from hooker. He will be partnered by Cian Healy, and Tadhg Furlong in the front-row, giving Ireland one of the best platforms of all teams in the tournament.

Locking the scrum will be Iain Henderson, and James Ryan. They are joined by Peter O’Mahony, and Josh van der Flier as the flankers while South African import CJ Stander completes the starting line-up at N8.

Scotland has named a team packed with experience which includes over 600 caps. It is also one with players from far-and-wide who play their rugby in Scotland as well as other UK locations.

Named to start in the front-row are the South African born and raised props Allan Dell and WP Nel. Joining them up front will be Stuart McInally who will captain the side from hooker.

A key area of Scottish play over the decades has been the second-row. They have named a strong combination with Grant Gilchrist, partnering Jonny Gray in the engine room. Completing the forwards will be flankers John Barclay, and Hamish Watson, together with N8 Ryan Wilson.

In the backs veteran scrum half, and former captain, Greig Laidlaw will be the organizer. He is to play inside the world class Finn Russell. Together with fullback Stuart Hogg the Scots have arguably there best backs of the professional era.

Starting in the mid-field will be Australian import Sam Johnson and Duncan Taylor. The combination comes as a surprise with Scotland having opted against selecting Huw Jones among others. Completing the side will be wingers Sean Maitland and Tommy Seymour.

There have been a staggering 136 prior test matches between Ireland and Scotland. Ireland has won 63 and Scotland 67. The teams have also competed to a draw on five occasions.

Ireland are currently ranked no1 in the world rankings. While this may be disputed with New Zealand, South Africa, and England arguably being the world’s top three teams this does not diminish the reality that Ireland are a very strong side. The Irish go into the match as favorites to win by 9 points.

RR WORLD RANKINGS – During World Cup the RR Ranking Points are DOUBLED

IRE (on 89.47 points) at a Neutral venue -vs- SCO (on 81.00 points) in a RWC match

Possible Outcome Rating Point
Will SCO
overtake IRE?
If IRE win by 1-15 points 0.306 89.78 80.69 No
If IRE win by more than 15 0.459 89.93 80.54 No
If result is a draw 1.694 87.78 82.69 No
If SCO win by 1-15 points 3.694 85.78 84.69 No
If SCO win by more than 15 5.541 83.93 86.54 Yes


1 Cian Healy, 2 Rory Best (capt.), 3 Tadhg Furlong, 4 Iain Henderson, 5 James Ryan, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 7 Josh van der Flier, 8 CJ Stander, 9 Conor Murray, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 12 Bundee Aki, 13 Garry Ringrose, 14 Andrew Conway, 15 Jordan Larmour

Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 David Kilcoyne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Tadhg Beirne, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Jack Carty, 23 Chris Farrell

1 Allan Dell, 2 Stuart McInally (capt.), 3 WP Nel, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 5 Jonny Gray, 6 John Barclay, 7 Hamish Watson, 8 Ryan Wilson, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 10 Finn Russell, 11 Sean Maitland, 12 Sam Johnson, 13 Duncan Taylor, 14 Tommy Seymour, 15 Stuart Hogg

Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Ali Price, 22 Chris Harris, 23 Darcy Graham

Date: Sunday, September 23
Venue: Nissan Stadium, Yokohama
Kickoff: 16:45 local (00:45 Pacific, 03:45 Eastern, 04:45 Rio de la Plata)
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistants: Pascal Gaüzère (France) & Alex Ruiz (France)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)
Broadcasts: ESPN 3 (Latin/South America), NBC Sports Gold (USA), TSN 1/3 (Canada)

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