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The 'seriously' message that James Ryan has issued to Ireland

By PA
(Photo by Philippe Lopez/AFP via Getty Images)

Vice-captain James Ryan has insisted that Ireland must begin the Rugby World Cup with real intent if they have genuine aspirations of being crowned champions. Andy Farrell’s side are out to substantiate their status as the top-ranked Test team and one of the pre-tournament favourites.

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The Guinness Six Nations winners launch their campaign on Saturday afternoon against Pool B minnows Romania at a sold-out Stade de Bordeaux expected to be packed with Irish fans.

Leinster lock Ryan, who conceded that Ireland were below their best in warm-up victories over Italy, England and Samoa, said his side were striving for a complete 80-minute performance.

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“It’s definitely not about easing ourselves in,” said the 27-year-old. “If we are going to take this competition seriously I don’t think you can ease yourself into any game.

“We have got to go in with the right mentality. Tomorrow [Saturday] is about playing with real intent and putting in a performance that we know we are capable of.

Team Form

Last 5 Games

3
Wins
1
1
Streak
1
12
Tries Scored
11
21
Points Difference
-81
3/5
First Try
1/5
3/5
First Points
1/5
4/5
Race To 10 Points
2/5

“We were a bit off in a couple of the pre-season games, and we didn’t hit that 80-minute performance we were looking for. Tomorrow for us is about winning every moment, or winning as many moments as we can. We don’t want to drift or lose 10 minutes or 15 minutes.

“We are definitely striving for the full 80-minute performance tomorrow that we can be proud of, and hopefully give the Irish people there tomorrow something to cheer about.”

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