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Ireland’s POTENTIAL Path To The World Cup Final In 2019

Gavin O'Callaghan
By Gavin O'Callaghan

After this morning’s pool draw in Kyoto Irish fans will be feeling confident that they can top Group A ahead of Scotland and Japan to at least give them a more favorable shot at advancing past the quarter-final for the first time in their history.

Even the most pessimistic of supporters could reasonably hope for Joe Schmidt’s men to top the group where they will play the runner-up of Pool B which consists of New Zealand, South Africa and Italy.

Quarterfinal

Presuming the All-Blacks come in the expected first position, Ireland would most likely expect to play South Africa in their quarter final and the winner would go on to play the winner of Group D or the runner up of Group C.

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A lot can change between now and 2019, but if the current World Rankings are taken for definitive confirmation of each teams placing, Australia will pip Wales for Group D and will face off against France in their Quarter Final while the other game will see England be pit against the Welsh.

Semifinal

So if Ireland get past the South African test they will probably be lining up against Australia in the Semi-Final whilst New Zealand will take on England in the other game.

Final

Then pending two historic victories it would be Ireland vs New Zealand in the Final in Stadium Yokohama in Kanagawa.

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The Stadium has been good to Irish sport in the past as 15 years ago we saw the Republic of Ireland beat Saudi Arabia there in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in a game made famous by Damien Duff's iconic bowing celebration. The Stadium also hosted the final of the tournament where a Ronaldo brace saw Brazil beat Germany 2-0.

Here's Joe Schmidt reflecting on this morning's draw.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c_LlfoKmJU

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