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Live updates and team news for the Ireland vs Tonga Rugby World Cup match


Sep 16, 2023

Sign up for our free sports newsletter to receive the latest news across various sports, from cycling to boxing. Stay up to date with all the latest news by signing up for our free sports email. Tonight, Ireland will continue their Rugby World Cup campaign as they take on Tonga at Stud Beaujoir in Nantes. Last week, Andy Farrell’s side defeated Romania, scoring 82 points with 12 tries. With just four changes to the starting XI, another bonus point win is expected for Ireland before they face South Africa and Scotland. On the other hand, Tonga has historically struggled in the World Cup, never making it out of the pool stage. However, with changes to eligibility rules, they have four former All Blacks in their line-up. The question remains whether they can secure a surprising victory against Ireland.

Tonga faces a challenging pool in the World Cup, and although they had the first round off, they know they are at a disadvantage. Changes in international eligibility regulations have strengthened the position of Pacific Islanders, with former All Blacks and 2015 World Cup winner Charles Piutau among the starting XI. Assistant coach Tyler Breyendaal expects a physical encounter.

Ireland is well aware of the risks of underestimating weaker opponents in the World Cup, as they suffered a crushing defeat to Japan in 2019. Despite this, the upset did not influence Andy Farrell’s strong selection for the Tonga match. Johnny Sexton returns to the team after almost six months since injury and suspension, surpassing Ronan O’Gara as Ireland’s top scorer at the World Cup. However, Sexton is focused on the team’s success rather than personal glory.

There were speculations about radical changes to Ireland’s starting lineup, but head coach Andy Farrell resisted temptation and prioritized the immediate challenge. Some fans and experts disagree with this decision, and only time will tell if it was the right one. The Rugby World Cup has also seen smaller nations like Portugal showcase their abilities, highlighting the need for the sport to expand its borders and provide more opportunities for emerging nations.

Wales secured a victory against Portugal, with Vincent Pinto receiving a red card for dangerous play. Wales managed to earn a bonus point through Taulupe Faletau’s try.

By Editor

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