Sunday afternoon in Japan sees the two top-seeded sides from Pool A square off in Yokohama.
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Scotland post match press conference:
Scotland have entered the Rugby World Cup in some of their best-ever form and will be hungry for their first win over the Irish since 2017.
Ireland came into the competition as the top-ranked side in the world but have since lost that mantle to New Zealand. Regardless of today’s result, the Shamrocks won’t be able to earn that top ranking back – but far more important things are at stake right now.
The winner of Pool A will be rewarded with a quarterfinal against South Africa, who came out second-best in last night’s match with New Zealand. That may seem like a boobie-prize – but the second-top side in Pool A will have to face the All Blacks in the quarterfinals, so it’s still the lesser of two evils.
Our man on the ground Ian Cameron at Ireland v Scotland:
Ireland have never made the semifinals of a Rugby World Cup whilst Scotland made a sole appearance way back in 1991. Today’s match will have a major bearing on the two Celtic side’s chances of breaking their respective ducks.
Of course, that’s not even taking into consideration the presence of the ever-improving Japan, who are the third-ranked side in the group.
Japan started more slowly than some would have expected, but they ultimately secured a bonus-point win against Russia.
The loser of this afternoon’s fixture will need a win against Japan to give themselves any chance of making the quarters, which is not necessarily the easiest of tasks.
When all is said and done, today’s victor will be in a much better place come the end of the pool stages – which means we should be in for an intense match.
Ireland: Andrew Conway, Jordan Larmour, Gary Ringrose, Bundee Aki, Jacob Stockdale, Jonathan Sexton, Connor Murray, CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier, Peter O’Mahony, James Ryan, Iain Henderson, Tadhg Furlong, Rory Best (c), Cian Healy. Res: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Andrew Porter, Tadgh Beirne, Jack Conan, Luke McGrath, Jack Carty, Chris Farrell.
Scotland: Stuart Hogg, Tommy Seymour, Duncan Taylor, Sam Johnson, Sean Maitland, Finn Russell, Greig Laidlaw, Ryan Wilson, Hamish Watson, John Barclay, Jonny Gray, Grant Gilchrist, Willem Nel, Stuart McInally (c), Allan Dell. Res: Fraser Brown, Gordon Reid, Simon Berghan, Scott Cummings, Blade Thomson, Ali Price, Chris Harris, Darcy Graham.
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