Portugal’s remarkable performance at the Rugby World Cup 2023 has earned them the promise of more fixtures against top sides. The Wolves, who had never faced a Six Nations country in a Test match, delivered a stunning upset by defeating quarter-finalists Fiji. World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont revealed plans to reshape the global Test schedule. Aiming to elevate these underdog teams to become genuine contenders by the 2031 RWC in the USA.
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Beaumont emphasized the importance of providing regular high-level competition for teams like Portugal, Samoa, Tonga, Uruguay, Chile, and Georgia. This approach will lead to a more competitive and unpredictable Rugby World Cup, benefiting fans, broadcasters, and commercial partners. Portugal’s victory in the pool stages was a standout moment, contributing to a significant increase in fan attendance and online viewership.
Criticism has arisen regarding the length of the group stage and the number of blank days between games at the Rugby World Cup. Organizers are now considering a change for the 2027 tournament in Australia. Which would involve six pools of four teams, reducing the group stage duration by a week. This adjustment will be among the topics discussed for future RWC editions.
The Rugby World Cup 2023 enters its knockout phase this Saturday with the first two quarter-finals. Featuring Wales versus Argentina and Ireland facing a formidable challenge against New Zealand. Warren Gatland, the head coach of Wales, has revealed his lineup for the RWC match against Argentina. Despite injuries, Dan Biggar and Liam Williams will start.
Injuries and Expectations: Rugby World Cup Quarter-finals Update
However, Taulupe Faletau’s World Cup journey has been cut short due to a broken arm. And Gareth Anscombe is unable to overcome a groin strain. Ireland, on the other hand, is sticking with the same starting XV that triumphed in all four of their Pool B matches at the Rugby World Cup. Despite an injury concern for Mack Hansen, he will take his place on the right wing against New Zealand.
England’s assistant coach, Richard Wigglesworth, has come to the defense of Owen Farrell. Who faces scrutiny ahead of the RWC quarter-final. Wigglesworth believes that Farrell, despite recent criticism, will have a significant impact on the upcoming match against Fiji. The England captain became his country’s top test points scorer during the last pool game.
Conor Murray highlights the importance of New Zealand-born trio, Bundee Aki, and Jamison Gibson-Park. And James Lowe, to Ireland’s Rugby World Cup aspirations. These three world-class players, now representing Ireland, will face the All Blacks in a quarter-final showdown in Paris. Their contribution was instrumental in Ireland’s landmark tour victory over New Zealand last summer.
Johnny Sexton, the captain of the No. 1 ranked team in the RWC. Shared his thoughts on the prospect of winning the tournament with Ireland. He views it as a dream come true, emphasizing that it’s not a source of pressure. Winning the World Cup is a goal that he and the team are working towards. And they have a realistic chance of achieving it, given their current standing as the top-ranked team in the world.
Johnny Sexton’s Focus on the Rugby World Cup Challenge
Sexton’s focus is squarely on the upcoming challenge. He hasn’t dwelled on his career or the past; instead, he’s fully dedicated to the crucial match scheduled for Saturday. Ireland is gearing up for the biggest test they’ve faced in the RWC, and Sexton and his teammates are eagerly looking forward to it. Fans can buy Rugby World Cup Final Tickets from our trusted platform.
In the history of the RWC, Ireland has often faced disappointment at the quarter-final stage. Experiencing defeat in seven out of the last nine tournaments at this juncture. However, Johnny Sexton and his teammates have been diligently honing the mental aspect of their game in preparation for this important encounter.
Over the past four years, they have worked on their mental resilience and readiness for various scenarios that may arise in high-pressure situations. Despite previous setbacks, Sexton believes the team is not burdened by past experiences. They see this quarter-final as a unique opportunity to break the pattern and are fully committed to their preparations. Ensuring they are mentally and physically prepared for the one-off game that lies ahead in the Rugby World Cup.
Andy Farrell, the head coach of Ireland’s rugby team, reflects on the significant changes. They’ve made to enhance their Rugby World Cup aspirations. He pinpoints that in the past, the team struggled with an “inferiority complex.”
Ireland, currently holding the top-ranking position in test rugby, is on the verge of making history. As they prepare to face New Zealand in Paris on Saturday. Success in this quarter-final match would mark the first time an Irish team advances to the semi-finals of the RWC.
Andy Farrell’s Reflection on Ireland’s Past and Present in the Rugby World Cup
Recalling his time as an assistant to Joe Schmidt during the 2019 World Cup. Farrell acknowledges the bitter disappointment of being eliminated by the All Blacks in the last eight. However, he emphasizes that the mood in the current Irish camp is different. With a focus on the challenges and opportunities presented in the Rugby World Cup’s knockout stages.
The head coach underlines the consistency of the team’s mindset and preparation, stating that they have been in a similar mood since last week. He refers to this stage as the “business end” of the competition and emphasizes the importance of drawing from their past experiences and the rigorous training they’ve undergone in the last three to four years, all in preparation for moments like these in the Rugby World Cup.
Ireland has shared crucial updates regarding the fitness of key players Mack Hansen and James Lowe in the lead-up to their highly anticipated RWC quarter-final against New Zealand in Paris. Mack Hansen, a winger from Connacht, has been declared fit and is set to be a part of the starting XV. This positive news comes after Hansen’s calf injury sustained during their recent 36-14 victory over Scotland.
Eddie Jones’s Rugby World Cup Future in Question”
However, there are some changes to the match-day squad as lock James Ryan, who faced a hand injury during the game against Scotland, will not be available. Additionally, center Stuart McCloskey has also been omitted from Andy Farrell’s lineup for this crucial Rugby World Cup clash. On a different note, the rugby world is abuzz with speculation regarding the future of Eddie Jones.
Recent reports suggest that Jones is on the verge of returning to Japan. Jones had previously returned to Australia at the start of 2023 but encountered a challenging second stint as the Wallabies coach. This culminated in a shocking early exit from the pool stage in the men’s Rugby World Cup. Despite their defeats to Fiji and Wales in Pool D, Fiji’s bonus point win over Portugal sealed the fate of Jones’s team, marking their departure from the RWC by competition.
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