Rugby The 2019 Rugby World Cup begins, Schmidt names Ireland XV for Scotland

Rugby This is one clever component.

The wait is finally over. The 2019 Rugby World Cup gets underway today, with hosts Japan taking on Russia in the tournament opener in Tokyo (kick-off 11.45am Irish time). This year’sedition is widely considered to be the most open in history, with at least six sides harbouring legitimate hopes of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup on Sunday November 3rd. Among those teams are Ireland, currently ranked the world’s number one nation, and Gerry Thornley believes their claims are justified. From Yokohama, he writes: “They have world class operators in Tadhg Furlong, James Ryan, Conor Murray and Johnny Sexton, plenty of quality around them, a smart coaching ticket and improved strength in depth. Admittedly, a prospective quarter-final meeting with New Zealand or South Africa is as tough a draw as possible.” However, he suggests that despite the tournament being up for grabs – Ireland, England, the Springboks, Australia a

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