Andy Farrell's World No 1s take on the All Blacks with the chance to make Irish history

Ireland are favourites to beat New Zealand and reach a first ever Rugby World Cup semi-final in the country’s history. For the All Blacks, it’s just as unprecedented to be underdogs in this scenario but Ian Foster’s men are confident they can knock Andy Farrell’s World No 1 side off their perch. Here are our Ireland v New Zealand predictions.

It is set to be a phenomenal encounter at the Stade de France in Paris on Saturday night, with New Zealand being the last team to beat Ireland. However, that was in the first game of their three-match series last year with Ireland taking the spoils 2-1 away from home.

Read more: How to watch Ireland v New Zealand wherever you are in the world

Ireland v New Zealand predictions

Josh Graham: Ireland by 9. If not now then when for Ireland. Andy Farrell’s green machine have been in ominous form and with tremendous travelling support will take some stopping. The All Blacks have been very clinical since bouncing back from defeat to France but are rightly underdogs. There just isn’t the same aura around them anymore after plenty of losses in the last few years. Ireland should do the business.

Alan Dymock: Ireland by 3. Oh it’s going to be tight. Uncomfortably so. You’ll be able to feel the nervous energy. but it’ll be energy – possibly from an enormous support, in-stadium – that nudges Ireland over the line. There will likely be a moment or three when New Zealand get an edge too, and you’d wager that fella Ardie Savea will have something to do with it. But winning ugly is something this Ireland can do now.

TV Channel ITV1 (UK) – How to watch the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals

Venue Stade de France, Paris

Capacity 81,500

Fun Fact: The sixth-largest stadium in Europe, the Stade de France is one of just two stadia in the world to have hosted both football (1998) and rugby union (1999,2007) World Cup Finals – alongside the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, Japan.

Ireland form

Beat Scotland

Beat South Africa

Beat Tonga

Beat Romania

Beat Samoa

New Zealand form

Beat Uruguay

Beat Italy

Beat Namibia

Lost to France

Lost to South Africa


Ireland’s 40–29 win at Soldier Field, in Chicago, in November 2016, has gone down in the annals. But the last time Ireland and New Zealand played one another in a Rugby World Cup was at the quarter-final stage four years ago – and the result was rather different. The All Blacks ended Ireland’s Joe Schmidt years with a comprehensive seven-tries-to-two 46-14 victory. Now, of course, Schmidt is working with New Zealand.

Ireland v New Zealand team news

Ireland had fitness concerns over Mack Hansen and James Lowe but both wingers are fit to start, however, James Ryan – who started on the bench against Scotland – is out with a wrist injury.

Read more: Ireland Rugby World Cup squad

IRELAND Hugo Keenan; Mack Hansen, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (captain), Jamison Gibson-Park; Andrew Porter, Dan Sheehan, Tadhg Furlong; Tadhg Beirne, Iain Henderson; Peter O’Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris

Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Finlay Bealham, Joe McCarthy, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Jack Crowley, Jimmy O’Brien

Related: All Blacks Rugby World Cup squad

NEW ZEALAND Beauden Barrett; Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Leicester Fainga’anuku; Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith; Ethan de Groot, Codie Taylor, Tyrel Lomax; Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett; Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane (captain), Ardie Savea

Replacements: Dane Coles, Tamaiti Williams, Fletcher Newell, Samuel Whitelock, Dalton Papali’i, Finlay Christie, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown

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