Third Rugby World Cup pool match kick-off time, TV channel and team news – The Irish Times

When and where is it?

Ireland’s third Rugby World Cup match is against South Africa on Saturday night at the Stade de France in Paris, kick-off at 8pm (9pm local time). It was the third out of four matches in Pool B.

How can I see it?

Ireland v South Africa live on RTÉ and ITV1. Coverage begins on RTÉ at 7pm.

How did the first two games go?

Ireland opened their tournament with an 82-8 win over Romania in Bordeaux. 12 tries to a win was an Irish record at a World Cup and the second biggest Irish win differential. And, crucially, an unbeaten run from the first game. Playing under clear blue skies and 36 degree temperatures was a perfect start in many ways.

Then last Saturday they beat Tonga 59-16 in Nantes to take their tournament tally to 20 tries. Andy Farrell’s selection was once again fully vindicated as he opted to stick close to his strong side, including captain Jonny Sexton, who broke Ronan O’Gara’s Irish all-time scoring record of 1,083 points.

Tonga had four former All Blacks in their line-up, but Ireland passed a tricky test and a much-improved lineout performance. Only Finlay Pelham departed for an HIA, before the commercial end of the pool.

Ireland, who won the Grand Slam title last November by defeating Australia and South Africa, come to this World Cup as six-nation champions. Before that, they won two out of three games during their successful and historic tour of New Zealand.

Andy Farrell’s side are ranked number one in the world and heading into this tournament they enjoyed comfortable warm-up wins over Italy, England and Samoa. Ireland have won their last 15 games since losing to the All Blacks at Eden Park in July 2022. And Josh van der Flier is the World Player of the Year. Surely this Irish side will be the first team to get past the World Cup quarter-finals – at least – but the draw did them no favours.

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What is the format of the World Cup?

Ireland are in Pool B with Romania, Tonga, South Africa and Scotland, playing those teams a week a week with two weeks between the final two games. The group toppers will play the runners-up in Pool A in the quarter-finals, while the runners-up will face the winner of the same group consisting of France and New Zealand. This means that the top four teams in the world are on one side of the draw, with the likes of Australia, England, Wales, Fiji and Argentina fighting for the final.

Ireland’s Pool B fixtures are as follows (all times Irish):

Saturday September 9: Ireland 82 Romania 8

Saturday September 16: Ireland 59 Tonga 16

Saturday September 23: v South Africa, Paris, 8.0

Saturday October 7: v Scotland, Paris, 8.0

Saturday, October 14: Quarter Final 2 (Winner Pool B Vs runner-up Pool A), Paris, 8.0

15th October Sun: Quarter-Final 4 (Winner Pool A vs Runner-Up Pool B), Paris, 8.0

Friday October 20: Semi-Final 1 (QF1 winner vs QF2 winner), Paris, 8.0

Saturday 21st October: Semi-Final 2 (QF4 winner vs QF4 winner), Paris, 8.0

Saturday 28th October: Final (SF1 winner vs SF2 winner) – Paris, 8.0

What to expect from South Africa?

World Cup-winning outhalf Handre Pollard has been called up to the Springboks squad to fill the void created by hooker Malcolm Marks, who ended the season earlier this week with a knee injury. South Africa have opted for Bongi Mobonambi and Dion Fourie, along with flanker Marco van Staden, to provide adequate cover in the hooker position.

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In their final warm-up game they won 35-7 against the All Blacks at Twickenham, with a new forward-back (they made headlines with a 7/1 bench split) giving them a statement win.

Despite making 14 changes, South Africa opened the tournament with an 18-3 win over Scotland before thrashing Romania 76-0 at the weekend.

Their record at the World Cup makes it clear why they are so feared, the Boks have won three titles in the seven tournaments they have contested and they come into this edition as the defending champions. They have played 45 matches at Rugby World Cups and have won 38 matches with an 84 per cent success rate, only the All Blacks have a better record.

The first World Cup match between Ireland and South Africa will be played on Saturday. However, the two national teams have faced each other a total of 27 times, dating back to 1906. In those meetings, the Springboks have won 18 matches, drawn one, and Ireland have won eight. The most recent of which was a 19-16 win at the Fall Internationals last November.

Group message

Ireland’s squad is expected to be announced on Thursday, with South Africa expected to be named on the same day.

Finlay went off for an HIA against Pelham Tonga and there is no update on his chances of featuring against the Springboks. Dan Sheehan and Jack Conan are both still out of the tournament after picking up foot injuries in practice matches.

Ireland attack coach Mike Gate said on Sunday that management were „confident” Sheehan would be fit for selection this week, while Conan should return to full training this week and should be an option for the South African game, according to Gerry Thornley. To participate in this World Cup.

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The weather?

The forecast for Nantes on Saturday night is partly cloudy, with less than 5 percent chance of rain and temperatures between 16-17 degrees, as well as wind speeds of 5 km/h. Ireland prepared for the high temperatures, spending a week in a warm-weather training camp in Portugal and playing a final warm-up game against Samoa in Bayonne, where they faced heavy rain throughout the tournament.

Who is the whistle?

Ben O’Keefe will take charge of Ireland’s clash with South Africa. The New Zealander was criticized for failing to establish ground rules in Ireland’s win over Australia in November 2022.

„O’Keefe must be sure,” explained John O’Sullivan. „Unwavering and consistent in establishing the ground rules in this aspect of the game for both teams; basically, pinging violators off the park until everyone understands what’s acceptable. He didn’t play, to their liking, didn’t push the boundaries too much but ignored.

Any tickets?

Tickets for Ireland’s matches are on sale The official ticket website of the Rugby World Cup And the cost of a tonga game went from €75 (Cat 4) to €300 (Cat 1). But even official resale tickets are now unavailable, all sold out weeks in advance.

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