Everything you need to know about the tournament that starts this weekend

Listen | 28:35

Ireland has a poor history in Rugby World Cup competitions but this year just might be different.

Entering the tournament in France as the number one team in the world is no guarantee of anything. The big question is whether Andy Farrell’s team can do what previous Ireland teams have never managed: progress beyond the quarter final.

That’s if they get there – the way the draw has worked out this year is that the pool is divided into an easy side and a hard one and Ireland is in the hard one alongside reigning world champions South Africa, as well as Scotland.

As Irish Times sports reporter John O’Sullivan prepares to leave for the team’s first match of the two-month tournament, on Saturday against Romania at 2.30pm in Stade de Bordeaux, he explains all you need to know about the “pool of death” and beyond.


Presented by Bernice Harrison. Produced by John Casey and Suzanne Brennan.