The 2015 World Cup represents one of Ireland’s best chances in recent memory of claiming the sports top prize, here’s why…
The Ireland coach is one of the best in the world right now, and has turned Ireland into serious contenders for the World Cup. He has shown an ability to devise game plans that perfectly neutralise the opposition, whatever the conditions.
2.The Half Backs
Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray are the heartbeat of this Ireland team, and help dictate the tempo and style of play. Their ability to control a game, and keep the opposition under pressure is second to none right now, and could see Ireland through some tough World Cup games.
Throughout the current Ireland side, there are experienced heads everywhere. From Sexton and Murray at half back, to Paul O’Connell and Jamie Heaslip in the pack, there are leaders everywhere. They can even call on players like Gordon D’Arcy if the occasion calls for it.
4.Kick Chase Game
The Ireland kicking game is currently just about the best in the world. Not just because of the accuracy of their kicks, but because of the way the team chases down the ball. They are always either challenging for the ball in the air, or closing down on the opposition when it’s caught.
Throughout the side, and particularly in the pack, Ireland have plenty of quality ball carriers. The likes of Cian Healy, Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip will all give their side plenty of go forward, and ensure that even in tight games they have momentum on their side.
The Irish fans always travel well, and especially given the proximity of the World Cup, you can rest assured they will have plenty of travelling support at every game. It’s easy to see most of their games being like home games, given the vociferous support they will receive.
For the first time in a long time it seems like Ireland have good squad depth in almost every key position. This should ensure players are battling hard to hold on to their jersey, and should injury strike then they have it covered. There will be concerns over injuries to the half backs though.
There are no easy groups in the World Cup, but Ireland certainly have a slightly easier path to the semi-finals that some of their main rivals. They also look likely to face Argentina in the quarter finals, which is a game they can definitely win if they play to the best of their ability.