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

Everything you need to know about Ireland’s quarter-final

When and where is it on?

Ireland are through to the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals and are up against New Zealand on Saturday night at Stade de France in Paris, kick-off is at 8pm (9pm local time).

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?

Ireland won all four of their Pool B games to top arguably the toughest pool of the tournament. They beat Romania and Tonga easily, 82-8 and 59-16 respectively. In an intense encounter with South Africa, they came out on top 13-8. They then eased to a surprisingly comfortable 36-14 victory over Scotland last Saturday.

New Zealand, meanwhile, lost their opening game 27-13 to France. They recovered well though, beating Namibia 71-3, Italy 96-17 and Uruguay 73-0 to finish second in Pool A behind France.

What is Ireland’s history against New Zealand?

Ireland went a long time without winning against New Zealand, more than 100 years, and 28 Test matches, until they finally beat the All Blacks in November 2016. Once they got over the hump, Ireland won four of their next seven meetings, including a historic series victory on New Zealand soil last year. New Zealand are, however, the last team to beat Ireland, 18 games ago, when they won 42-19 in Auckland in July 2022. The All Blacks also beat Ireland in the quarter-finals of the last World Cup, 46-14.

What to expect from the All Blacks?

Even if it is not their greatest team of all time, it is still the All Blacks. It was a shock to the system when a team with a win percentage of almost 77 per cent in their history and three-time Rugby World Cup champions lost four games in 2022, including two against Ireland, in what was considered a low point for the team. They recovered their form to win the Rugby Championship in 2023, but lost to South Africa in a warm-up game for the World Cup and to France in the opening game.

Discipline could be a key factor. They were well beaten by South Africa and Ireland in games where they had players sent off in the first half. If they keep 15 men on the pitch, their destruction of Italy showed the attacking threat they pose. The three Barretts – Beauden, Jordie and Scott – are always a threat, and Ardie Savea is one of the best number eights in the world.

Team news

Mack Hansen has been named to start on the right wing in Ireland’s World Cup quarter-final clash against New Zealand at the Stade de France on Saturday night (kick-off 9pm local time/8pm Irish) despite being unable to train all week due to the calf injury he suffered in last weekend’s win over Scotland.

Hence, the same starting XV which completed a fourth win in four games to top Pool B with that handsome 36-14 victory over Scotland has been retained, but there are a couple of changes on the bench.

As expected, James Ryan was also ruled out with the hand injury he suffered against Scotland after coming on for the last 32 minutes, with Joe McCarthy preferred to Ryan Baird on the bench. In a less expected move, Jimmy O’Brien has been named in a match-day squad for the first time, in place of Stuart McCloskey.

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

Replacements: Ronan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Finlay Bealham, Joe McCarthy, Jack Conan, Conor Murray, Jack Crowley, Jimmy O’Brien.

For New Zealand, lethal wing Mark Telea has been dropped for an unspecified breach of team protocol, a bizarre scenario on the eve of such a significant match. Elsewhere, tighthead Tyrel Lomax has returned to fitness to start, while Sam Cane returns to captain the side in place of Dalton Papali’i in the backrow.

New Zealand: Beauden Barrett; Will Jordan, Rieko Ioane, Jordie Barrett, Leicester Fainga’anuku; Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith; Ethan de Groot, Codie Taylor, Tyrel Lomax; Brodie Retallick, Scott Barrett; Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane (capt), Ardie Savea.

Replacements: Dane Coles, Tamaiti Williams, Fletcher Newell, Sam Whitelock, Dalton Papali’i, Finlay Christie, Damien McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown.

What is the weather forecast?

After an initial weather forecast of rain, it is going to be a pleasant autumnal day and night in Paris, with temperatures of about 16 degrees during the day and dropping to seven or eight degrees at night.

David Gorman

David Gorman

David Gorman is a sports journalist with The Irish Times