Another last-eight exit beckons for Ireland

Whether they get the All Blacks or the Springboks after the group stage, Joe Schmidt’s team will struggle to achieve that elusive first World Cup semi-final, writes Garry Doyle

15th September, 2019
England’s Maro Itoje steals a line-out from Devin Toner of Ireland at Twickenham last month Pic: Inpho/James Crombie

This isn’t meant to be a trick question – although, had it been asked a couple of years ago, it would certainly have been classed as a fairly stupid one. But you have to genuinely wonder, given the choice, which team would Joe Schmidt prefer to face in the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals: New Zealand or South Africa?

That we’re even putting an issue like this out there before a ball has been...

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