Sexton, Murray key to Irish hopes

Ireland have a good blend of players heading into the 2019 World Cup. SA Rugby magazine takes a look at the favourites to top Group A.

READ: Boks bigger threat to Ireland than ABs – O’Driscoll

From their veteran hooker and captain, Rory Best, to some exciting youngsters in Jacob Stockdale and Jordan Larmour. However, their finest players are undoubtedly their halfback pairing of Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton.

The World Player of the Year, Sexton has been in bright form for Ireland over the past few seasons, fighting his way back into the limelight at the age of 34. His tactical awareness is complemented by his savvy scrumhalf, who has been unmatched in international rugby for some time, too.

Throw in the immovable tighthead Tadhg Furlong, a bevy of bruising back rowers such as CJ Stander, Peter O’Mahony and Rhys Ruddock, and the exciting up-and-coming backs like Stockdale, Larmour and Garry Ringrose, and Ireland are pretty set on star quality.

Big Question: 

Will Ireland be able to use all the power they have on paper to make it past the quarter-finals by beating possibly South Africa or New Zealand?

World Cup record:

1987 – Quarter-finalists

1991 – Quarter-finalists

1995 – Quarter-finalists

1999 – QF playoffs

2003 – Quarter-finalists

2007 – Pool stage

2011 – Quarter-finalists

2015 – Quarter-finalists

– This is a snippet from October issue of SA Rugby magazine that previews every team at the World Cup, now on sale!  

Photo: Getty Images