Six Nations Team Profile: Ireland

Ireland

Head Coach – Joe Schmidt

The New Zealander took over as Ireland coach in 2013, helping the side to back-to-back RBS 6 Nations titles in 2014 and 2015 and leading them to a first series victory in the southern hemisphere.

Schmidt’s contract had been due to expire at the end of 2017, but he has now extended his deal to after the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.


Captain – Rory Best

The Ulsterman became the fifth man to win 100 caps for Ireland in 2016 while also leading his country to a historic victory against the All Blacks in the same year.

While last year’s Six Nations was a difficult one for Ireland, Best is the only Irishman to have captained his side to wins over Australia, New Zealand and the Springboks in a single calendar year.

We’d say he’s a dark horse to captain the British & Irish Lions as he’s a hard-working player with a perfect temperament.


What channel are Ireland on?
Saturday, February 4th: Scotland v Ireland (BBC, 2:25pm kick-off) 
Saturday, February 11th: Italy v Ireland (ITV, 2:25pm) 
Saturday, February 25th: Ireland v France (ITV, 4:50pm)
Friday, Match 10th: Wales v Ireland (BBC, 8:05pm) 
Saturday, March 18th: Ireland v England (ITV, 5pm)
For the full Six Nations fixture list, CLICK HERE


Stadium- Aviva Stadium
The stadium, which boasts a 57,100 capacity, sits on the site of Irish rugby’s former home Lansdowne Road, which was demolished for rebuilding in 2007.
Capacity: 51,700
Did you know? The stadium’s roof is designed to undulate in a wave-like manner so as to avoid blocking light to local residences.
Rugby History: The 2013 Heineken Cup Final took place in the Aviva Stadium on 18 May 2013.

Key Player – Conor Murray

Conor Murray is probably the best scrum-half in the world right now.

He’s a quick-thinking player, which is what you need at the breakdown in the modern game.

He also has an eye for a gap, which allows Ireland to get on the front foot attacking-wise, turning defensive situations into offense.

He may be a No.9 but he’s a very physical and is an imposing figure.


Rising Star – Garry Ringrose

Despite being tagged with the burdensome moniker of Brian O’Driscoll’s heir apparent for Leinster and Ireland, Ringrose has continued his rugby development apace, winning three Test caps in 2016.

He has an eye for a gap, a subtle step and whilst not the archetypal midfield thumper, also relishes the physical aspect of centre play.

His partnership with Robbie Henshaw for club and country is both devastating and exciting.


Social Media Favourite – Simon Zebo

The fullback knows how to use 140 characters.


Record vs
England: Won 47, Lost 76, Drawn 8
France: Won 32, Lost 56, Drawn 7
Italy: Won 22, Lost 4, Drawn 0
Scotland: Won 61, Lost 66, Drawn 5
Wales: Won 50, Lost 67, Drawn 7

Year-end ranking: 4

Ireland 2017 RBS 6 Nations squad
Forwards: Finlay Bealham, Rory Best (c), Jack Conan, Ultan Dillane, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Jamie Heaslip, Iain Henderson, Billy Holland, Dave Kilcoyne, Dan Leavy, Jack McGrath, Sean O’Brien, Tommy O’Donnell, Peter O’Mahony, Donnacha Ryan, John Ryan, Niall Scannell, CJ Stander, Devin Toner, James Tracy, Josh van der Flier
Backs: Tommy Bowe, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Craig Gilroy, Robbie Henshaw, Paddy Jackson, Rob Kearney, Kieran Marmion, Luke Marshall, Stuart McCloskey, Luke McGrath, Conor Murray, Tiernan O’Halloran, Garry Ringrose, Rory Scannell, Jonathan Sexton, Andrew Trimble, Simon Zebo
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