Home Irish Rugby Ireland vs Samoa: ‘Critical Opportunity for Ulster Pair as World Cup Roster Reveal Nears’

Ireland vs Samoa: ‘Critical Opportunity for Ulster Pair as World Cup Roster Reveal Nears’

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Ireland World Cup warm-up

Originally set for Monday, Andy Farrell will now unveil his World Cup team on Sunday.
World Cup Tune-up – Ireland vs Samoa
Location: Stade Jean-Dauger, Bayonne
Date: Saturday, August 26
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Real-time text updates, post-match analyses, and reactions available on the Sport Newes Center website and mobile app

Ireland’s head coach, Andy Farrell, will formally announce his World Cup roster this Sunday afternoon in Dublin, capping off a 10-week long training session with a 42-member squad to gear up for the championship in France.

After spending an extensive time under the discerning eye of Farrell at the training camp and participating in Test matches against Italy and England, players have been handed ample opportunities to make a strong case for themselves. However, Saturday’s final warm-up against Samoa offers the last shot for these athletes to lock in their World Cup seats.

Accelerating the timeline, Farrell’s press briefing, initially planned for Monday, has been moved up, meaning that six of the remaining 39 players will learn of their fate a day earlier than they anticipated.

As we lead up to the Samoa match in Bayonne, Sport Newes Center NI dissects the major talking points surrounding the looming squad announcement from Farrell.

Ulster Men in the Spotlight

The match in southwestern France will be particularly crucial for Ulster’s players. Iain Henderson, once again captaining the side, seems almost guaranteed a slot in the final 33-man list. However, his teammates Stuart McCloskey and Tom Stewart have a make-or-break opportunity to demonstrate they should join him on the return trip to France.

Stewart, who is only 22, will be starting for the first time after making his first appearance as a substitute in the victory over Italy. Though Farrell’s comments on Stewart have been positive, the hooker faces stiff competition from Dan Sheehan, Ronan Kelleher, and Ulster peer Rob Herring for the position.

McCloskey, who ended a 16-month wait for his seventh cap in an autumn match against South Africa last year, has been a frequent face in recent line-ups, making it highly probable he’ll be selected for the final squad. Nonetheless, he’ll have to maintain his performance level, especially given the array of center options at Farrell’s disposal.

Stockdale Sidelined Yet Again

Contrary to Stewart and McCloskey, who are relishing their final trial at Stade Jean-Dauger, Jacob Stockdale is left out of the fray. Having been absent from the win over England, his chances of making it to the final 33 seem slim.

Crowley vs Byrne: The Fly-Half Showdown

After taking a backseat to the more seasoned Ross Byrne during the England match, Jack Crowley will return to the fly-half position this Saturday. Crowley, a member of the United Rugby Championship-winning Munster team, has a window to challenge Byrne as the primary backup to Johnny Sexton for the World Cup.

Top-Ranked Ireland Might Take a Tumble

Though making the final roster is the immediate concern for most players, there’s a side note that Ireland might lose their No. 1 world ranking, a position they’ve held for over a year, if they falter against Samoa. South Africa has set the stage to potentially overtake them after a record 35-7 win over New Zealand.

In reality, dropping to No. 2 won’t likely shift the team’s focus. Their eyes will remain set on a deep run in France, and it’s widely believed that a potential match against South Africa could be the defining moment of their pool stage journey.

So as the players sweat it out in the lead-up to Sunday’s big reveal, you might say the tension is thicker than a Dublin fog. But hey, no pressure!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ireland World Cup warm-up

When will Andy Farrell announce the World Cup squad for Ireland?

Andy Farrell will announce Ireland’s World Cup squad on Sunday afternoon in Dublin. The announcement was initially planned for Monday but has been moved up a day.

Who are the Ulster players to watch in the warm-up match against Samoa?

Iain Henderson, Stuart McCloskey, and Tom Stewart from Ulster are the players to watch. While Henderson seems a guaranteed pick for the World Cup, McCloskey and Stewart are looking to solidify their spots on the team.

Where is the warm-up match between Ireland and Samoa taking place?

The match is scheduled to take place at Stade Jean-Dauger in Bayonne, France.

What’s at stake for Ireland in the world rankings?

If Ireland loses the warm-up game against Samoa, they might lose their No. 1 world ranking to South Africa, who recently had a record win against New Zealand.

Who are the key fly-half players for Ireland?

Johnny Sexton is the first-choice fly-half, with Ross Byrne and Jack Crowley battling it out to be his backup. Crowley will be the fly-half in the warm-up game against Samoa, providing him with a significant opportunity to prove himself.

Is there any chance for omitted players to return to the World Cup squad?

Yes, due to the geographical closeness between France and Ireland, players left out initially might still get a call-up in case of injuries. This provides a silver lining for those who don’t make the initial cut.

What other teams have Ireland faced in the warm-up matches?

Ireland has faced Italy and England in other warm-up matches leading to the World Cup.

What time does the Ireland vs Samoa warm-up match kick off?

The match kicks off at 19:45 BST on Saturday, August 26.

How can fans follow the game live?

Fans can follow real-time text updates, post-match analyses, and reactions on the Sport Newes Center website and mobile app.

Will any players learn of their World Cup fate earlier than planned?

Yes, because the squad announcement was moved from Monday to Sunday, six of the remaining 39 players will learn whether they’ve made the cut a day earlier than initially planned.

More about Ireland World Cup warm-up

  • Ireland Rugby Official Site
  • World Rugby Rankings
  • Sport Newes Center Website
  • Ireland’s Previous Warm-Up Matches
  • Ireland Rugby World Cup History
  • Player Profiles: Iain Henderson
  • Player Profiles: Stuart McCloskey
  • Player Profiles: Tom Stewart
  • Player Profiles: Johnny Sexton
  • World Cup Tournament Schedule in France

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UlsterFanatic August 26, 2023 - 7:22 am

stewart and McCloskey, this is your moment! don’t waste it guys.

TechGuy88 August 26, 2023 - 7:39 am

Love the coverage on Sport Newes Center app. Real-time updates are a godsend for someone like me who’s always on the move.

IrishLad93 August 26, 2023 - 11:15 am

Farrell better not mess this up, seriously. The last thing we need is a last-minute squad disaster.

HakaLover August 26, 2023 - 12:52 pm

As a neutral observer, it’ll be interesting to see if Ireland can hold that No. 1 spot. SA is breathing down their neck, not gonna lie.

CouchCoach August 26, 2023 - 4:09 pm

if Ireland loses their top spot, it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes a little adversity spices things up, eh?

WingWizard August 26, 2023 - 4:49 pm

What’s the deal with the world rankings anyway? Do they even matter, or is it all just a numbers game?

NervousNellie August 26, 2023 - 5:33 pm

Honestly I’m more stressed about the squad announcement than the players themselves must be. Who’s in, who’s out – just tell us already!

RugbyFan101 August 26, 2023 - 6:13 pm

Man, can’t wait for this game. Its like the Irish Avengers assembling, ya know? Ulster guys gonna show what they’re made of!

SarahTheAnalyst August 26, 2023 - 7:31 pm

The fly-half situation is really intriguing. Byrne or Crowley, who’s it gonna be? The World Cup could be a make or break for them.

GreenArmy4Ever August 27, 2023 - 4:44 am

Kinda sad about Stockdale, dude’s got talent. Hope Farrell’s got a plan B.


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