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Ireland’s participation in rugby union goes right back to the sport’s birth. In fact, the IRFU was a founding member of the International Rugby Football Board (now known as World Rugby) in 1886. This means they even joined before England did!
The Ireland rugby national teams represent the island of Ireland, meaning they represent both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland when playing at international level. The men’s Ireland rugby team competes in both the Six Nations Championship and the Rugby World Cup. Plus, representatives of the men’s Ireland team are also invited to play for the British and Irish Lions.
On the international stage, the men’s Ireland rugby team is highly successful. The team has won the Six Nations 14 times and has shared the title on nine other occasions. Plus, the team has also won the Grand Slam three times and the Triple Crown on 11 occasions. They’ve also reached the quarter-final stage of the World Cup seven times and the team was even ranked as number one in the world in 2019.
Due to the success of the men’s Ireland rugby team on the international stage, 12 former Ireland rugby players have been inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame, including legends such as Ronan O’Gara and Brian O’Driscoll.
The Ireland women’s team also represents Ireland on the international stage. They play in the Women’s Six Nations Championship and the Women’s Rugby World Cup. They’ve won the Women’s Six Nations Championship twice, the Triple Crown twice and the Grand Slam once. The team has also won the FIRA Women’s European Championship plate once and came fourth at the 2014 Women’s Rugby World Cup.
At the provincial level, the four provinces of Ireland field teams that compete in the Guinness PRO14. All teams representing Ireland at this level are highly competitive. Ulster, Munster and Leinster have all won the PRO14 league in the 21st century. Plus, all three teams have also won the Heineken Cup.
Read on to discover all the latest news about Ireland rugby. Discover all the latest Ireland rugby results and see all of the upcoming Ireland rugby fixtures below.
Sean O'Brien: The pathfinder
The abrasive backrow forward hangs up his boots this summer knowing he has blazed a trail on and off the field
On This Day: Ireland turn to Declan Kidney
Kidney was Munster’s director of rugby at the time and his appointment was delayed until after that summer’s tour of New Zealand and Australia, with the Irish province chasing another Heineken Cup triumph.
Ex-All Black hooker on the likely All Black front row to take on Ireland
Former All Black hooker James Parsons has shared his ideal starting line up for the All Blacks front row as they begin preparations to take on Ireland over three tests in July.