5 Dec, 14:49
The Ireland Under-19 squad to face Australia Schools at Ravenhill on Saturday week (December 14) has been announced.
The sixth running of the global tournament - which will also feature matches in both Cardiff and Edinburgh - will be hosted for the first time in France, running from September 7 to October 20, 2007.
Last May's draw landed Eddie O'Sullivan's side in Pool D, along with France - quarter-final conquerors of the Irish at the 2003 tournament - and the Americas 1, Europe 3 and Africa 1 qualifiers.
The 48 Cup fixtures will take place in twelve cities - Paris, Marseille, Lyon, St Etienne, Toulouse, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Nantes, Lens and St Denis - as well as the Welsh and Scottish capitals.
Hosts France will open the tournament against the Americas 1 qualifier - likely to be Argentina - on Friday, September 7 at the Stade de France, with Ireland facing the Europe 3 qualifier - probably Romania - again at Bordeaux's 32,600-capacity Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas, in their second match on Saturday, September 15.
Six days later, O'Sullivan's charges face at the French at Stade de France, and they complete their pool campaign on Sunday, September 30 against the Americas 1 qualifier at Paris' Parc des Princes.
If Ireland manage to top Pool D, they will face the runners-up in Pool C - likely to be either Scotland or Italy - at the Stade de France on Sunday, October 7. However if they finish as pool runners-up, then 1987 champions New Zealand will most probably provide the opposition at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, 24 hours earlier.
Former Ireland and Lions prop Dr Syd Millar, chairman of RWCL (Rugby World Cup Ltd) said: "We have a common ambition with the French Organising Committee, to organise the best Rugby World Cup yet."
Bernard Lapasset, President of the French Organising Committee added: "We will make this World Cup an unforgettable event for the world of rugby. It will be a great festival in line with the values of sharing and friendship our sport conveys.''
Ireland's Pool D Fixtures:
Sunday, Sept 9, 2007: Ireland v Africa 1, Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux Saturday, Sept 15: Ireland v Europe 3, Stade Jacques Chaban-Delmas, Bordeaux Friday, Sept 21: France v Ireland, Stade de France, Saint-Denis Sunday, Sept 30: Ireland v Americas 1, Parc des Princes, Paris
* Kick-off times are to be confirmed, with match tickets yet to be put on sale. irishrugby.ie will keep you updated