RWC 2023

My RWC team to face Romania in the opening game of the 2023 Rugby World Cup would be

15 Mack Hansen

14 Keith Earls

13 Robbie Henshaw

12 Stuart Mc Closkey

11 Jimmy O Brien

10 Jonathan Sexton

9 Jamison Gibson Park

8 Jack Conan

7 Peter O Mahony

6 Ryan Baird

5 Iain Henderson

4 James Ryan

3 Finlay Bealham

2 Ronan Kelleher

1 Dave Kilcoyne

16 Rob Herring

17 Jeremy Loughman

18 Tom O Toole

19 Tadgh Beirne

20 Caelan Doris

21 Conor Murray

22 Jack Crowley

23 Bundee Aki

Here is the 23 I would select to play Romania in next Saturday’s World Cup opener. It gives players the chance to get minutes in the legs namely Jonathan Sexton, Ronan Kelleher to name two who need game time. Not ideal to be building up match fitness in a World Cup opener but such is life.  This World Cup does promise so much and let’s hope the harsh “lessons” of 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and finally 2019 can finally be learned from and although the draw doesn’t favour an Irish semi-final appearance this squad under Andy Farrell have done much to change perception of failure in certain ways and now it is time to lay to rest the shambolic World Cup record of no semi-final appearance.

Yes of course the 2023 version isn’t easy and history says Ireland will be home as normal after the quarter finals but this year might be different as Ireland  won a Grand Slam this year and not forgetting the series win in New Zealand from 2022.

Those wins won’t count for anything if they don’t help lay the actual groundwork for Ireland to break the glass ceiling that should have been broken long before now but now is the turn of this squad with many men who have had heart break along with real disappointment at previous World Cups but we also have a core of players with no World Cup baggage !!

I know rugby isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it’s our national side in a World Cup and they have genuine claim to win it, they need to break a dreadful record to do it but that’s what breaking records are about, time now to stand up a really be counted……

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