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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

RWC MatchDay Live: Ireland v Wales

RWC MatchDay Live: Ireland v Wales

A capacity attendance is expected at Wellington Regional Stadium as Ireland attempt to qualify for the Rugby World Cup semi-finals for the first time. You can keep up-to-date with Saturday’s game via our RWC MatchDay Live service right here on IrishRugby.ie.

RWC MatchDay Live – Click Here

For arguably Ireland’s biggest ever Rugby World Cup match, they will field an unchanged team for the first time in tournament history. Rory Best has recovered from a shoulder injury to take his place at hooker.

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Captain Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy extend their world record centre partnership to 47 starts, while Donncha O’Callaghan will win his 80th Ireland cap in a stellar second row combination with Paul O’Connell.

Boasting 734 caps overall, this is the fifth most-experienced international team in Irish rugby history, led by O’Driscoll (116 caps) and record points scorer Ronan O’Gara (115 caps).

Number 8 Jamie Heaslip is the only player from either side to have played every minute of the 2011 Rugby World Cup so far.

Wales have made four changes to their starting line-up – Jonathan Davies and Shane Williams return to the back-line, and Alun Wyn Jones and Dan Lydiate have been selected in the second row and back row respectively.

Ireland and Wales have played each other on 116 occasions at Test level. Ireland have had 47 wins to date, the Welsh have been victorious on 63 occasions and there have been six drawn games.

The nations have met twice before in Rugby World Cup fare, winning one match apiece. Wales won a pool game 14-6 in Wellington at the inaugural tournament in 1987, while Ireland were 24-23 winners in the pool stages of the 1995 World Cup.

Of their more recent clashes, Ireland have won four of their last six matches against Wales and nine of the sides’ last 12 meetings. But they lost the last encounter, 19-13, in Cardiff during this year’s Six Nations.

Notably, 30 of the players in Saturday’s matchday squads were selected or later called up for duty with the British & Irish Lions during their 2009 tour of South Africa.

We will have live text commentary direct from Wellington Regional Stadium, which is colloquially known as the ‘Cake Tin’. It has hosted 22 Tests to date, including Ireland’s 21-11 defeat to the All Blacks in June 2008.

Plug in your laptop or turn on the PC and enjoy a flavour of Saturday’s match live on IrishRugby.ie. There will be full live text and score updates throughout the coverage as Ireland seek a place in the semi-finals.

You can watch live TV coverage of the match on RTÉ Two, Setanta Sports Ireland and UTV. There will be highlights on a number of channels later in the day, including TG4.

Michael Corcoran will also be providing live commentary of the game on RTÉ Radio 1, with their coverage beginning shortly before kick-off.

Starting at 5.30pm NZ time/5.30am Irish time with our pre-match build-up (the game kicks off at 6pm NZ time/6am Irish time), you can feel part of the action on IrishRugby.ie with MatchDay Live.

Look out for the MatchDay Live button in the Ireland section or simply click on the link below:

RWC MatchDay Live – Click Here

Follow the Ireland team in New Zealand on www.twitter.com/irfurugby.