Rugby World CupAll You Need To Know Guide

Ireland v Scotland: Kick off time, TV channel and team news ahead of Rugby World Cup showdown

Everything you need to know about Ireland’s crucial final Pool B game

When and where is it on?

Ireland’s fourth Rugby World Cup match is against Scotland on Saturday night at Stade de France in Paris, kick-off is at 8pm (9pm local time). This is Ireland’s final match in Pool B.

How can I watch it?

Virgin Media have the rights to this one in Ireland, the game is on Virgin Media One, coverage starts at 7pm. The game is also on ITV1 and the game will also be blogged on The Irish Times website.


How have Ireland done in their other games?

Very well. Ireland kicked their tournament off with an 82-8 win over Romania in Bordeaux. The 12 tries to one win was an Irish record at the World Cup and the second-biggest Irish winning margin ever.

They brought their tournament tally to 20 tries with a 59-16 win over Tonga in Nantes. Andy Farrell’s selection was again thoroughly vindicated as he opted to go with close to his strongest team, including captain Johnny Sexton who overtook Ronan O’Gara’s Irish all-time scoring record of 1,083 points.

Against the defending champions and easily their toughest test to date, Ireland beat South Africa 13-8. Mack Hansen got the try for Ireland in the first half as they held firm against the 7-1 split “bomb squad” from the Springboks in the second half. Their consecutive wins record is now at 16, stretching well over a year.

What are the permutations?

Any two from the three of South Africa, Ireland and Scotland can still advance to the knock-out stages. But one bonus point could be sufficient for Ireland to top the pool and advance.

If Ireland take zero points from next Saturday’s game – they are out. A solitary bonus point would secure Ireland a place in the quarter-finals provided they prevented Scotland from securing a try-scoring bonus point. Should Scotland win with four tries but Ireland get a losing bonus point, they will go through on points difference. If Ireland get two match points or more – ie a draw, two bonus points or a win – they will finish as Pool B winners. Avoid a big defeat is the order of the day then, although Ireland will be fully focused on victory.

What to expect from Scotland?

Scotland were disappointing in the opening game against South Africa and were comprehensively beaten 18-3. They have since recovered to easily beat Tonga 45-17 and Romania by an even great margin than Ireland did, 84-0. Ranked fifth in the world ahead of England, Scotland are a dangerous team. They beat France in August, and England in Twickenham in the Six Nations this year. However, they have not beaten in Ireland since 2017 and lost to them comfortably in the Six Nations this year, 22-7, and in the previous Rugby World Cup, 27-3. Ireland will be favourites for the encounter.

Scotland’s backline is very talented and the circumstances of the game mean that the Scots will be attack-focused to keep their competition hopes alive. Outhalf Finn Russell is one of the best playmakers in the world, while winger Duhan van der Merwe is capable of some incredible tries.

Team news

Dan Sheehan and Iain Henderson have been promoted to the starting line-up for Ireland’s Rugby World Cup Pool B finale against Scotland in the Stade de France on Saturday night in the only two changes to the starting XV from the win over South Africa almost a fortnight ago.

Ronan Kelleher and James Ryan drop to the bench, where there is a call-up for the fit-again Jack Conan in what will be his first appearance of the tournament, as Ryan Baird misses out.

Robbie Henshaw has suffered a hamstring injury and could be out for Ireland’s quarter-final also, should they make it there.

Scotland had injury worries over Jamie Richie but the captain and blindside flanker will lead the side after he suffered a controversial head injury in Nice against Tonga, for which wing Afusipa Taumoepeau received a yellow card. Richie was asymptomatic afterwards and has fully recovered.

Ireland: Hugo Keenan (Leinster); Mack Hansen (Connacht), Garry Ringrose (Leinster), Bundee Aki (Connacht), James Lowe (Leinster); Jonathan Sexton (Leinster)(capt), Jamison Gibson-Park (Leinster); Andrew Porter (Leinster), Dan Sheehan (Leinster), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster); Tadhg Beirne (Munster), Iain Henderson (Ulster); Peter O’Mahony (Munster), Josh van der Flier (Leinster), Caelan Doris (Leinster).

Replacements: Ronan Kelleher (Leinster), Dave Kilcoyne (Munster), Finlay Bealham (Connacht), James Ryan (Leinster), Jack Conan (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Jack Crowley (Munster), Stuart McCloskey (Ulster).

Scotland: Blair Kinghorn; Darcy Graham, Huw Jones, Sione Tuipulotu, Duhan van der Merwe; Finn Russell, Ali Price; Pierre Schoeman, George Turner, Zander Fagerson; Richie Gray, Grant Gilchrist; Jamie Ritchie, Rory Darge, Jack Dempsey.

Replacements: Ewan Ashman, Rory Sutherland, WP Nel, Scott Cummings, Matt Fagerson, Luke Crosbie, George Horne, Ollie Smith.

What is the weather forecast?

It is still very pleasant in Paris but from October onwards the temperatures start to drop at night time to about 14 degrees from a high of 24 degrees in the daytime. No rain is expected for the game at the Stade de France.

David Gorman

David Gorman

David Gorman is a sports journalist with The Irish Times