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Ireland at the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Ireland v Romania – RWC Stat Attack

Ireland v Romania – RWC Stat Attack

We take a look at some of the key facts and figures ahead of Ireland’s second Rugby World Cup Pool D game against Romania at Wembley Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 4.45pm).

HEAD-TO-HEAD:

– Ireland and Romania have met eight times in matches recognised as Tests by both countries, with Ireland winning all eight. Romania also played an Ireland XV in October 1980, drawing 13-13

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– They have met each other twice at Rugby World Cups with similar scores in each (44-14 in 1999 and 45-17 in 2003)

– Ireland captain Paul O’Connell made his Rugby World Cup debut against Romania in the 2003 match (pictured below) and is on the Ireland bench for Sunday. Danut Dumbrava made his RWC debut in the same match for Romania but is not involved in his team’s matchday 23

– Ovidiu Tonita, who started then and also starts now for Romania, is the only other player who was involved 12 years ago

– It is nearly 10 years since their last encounter, in which Ireland scored six tries and ran out 43-12 winners

Tommy Bowe played on the wing in that match, his sixth cap, and he and O’Connell are the only members of the current Ireland squad with experience of playing against Romania

– Csaba Gal made his Test debut from the bench in that 2005 match, aged 20

– Romania have never come within 18 points of Ireland in any of the eight matches recognised as Tests by both

IRELAND:

– Ireland started RWC 2015 with a 50-7 win over Canada at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. It was the fifth consecutive World Cup in which they won their opening match

– The average age (29 years and 245 days) of Ireland’s starting line-up for Sunday’s match is their oldest in RWC history, beating the previous record of 29 years and 219 days in the 14-10 win over Georgia in 2007

– Ireland have made 12 changes to the team that played against Canada. In the pack, only Jamie Heaslip retains his place to captain the team

– Four players – Richardt Strauss (pictured below), Devin Toner, Jordi Murphy and Darren Cave – will make their RWC debuts, and Tadhg Furlong will also make his RWC debut if used off the bench

Keith Earls needs two tries to equal Brian O’Driscoll’s record of seven RWC tries. He has scored two tries in pool games twice before, against Russia and Italy in 2011

– Ireland have played 31 RWC matches and have an 18-13 win-loss record

– Ireland need 31 points to become the eighth team to score 900 RWC points

ROMANIA:

– Romania started RWC 2015 with a 38-11 defeat by France at the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday night

– It was the lowest total of points scored by France against Romania for 20 years

– Paulica Ion, Danut Dumbrava and Ovidiu Tonita (off the bench) all equalled Romeo Gontineac’s Romania record of playing at four Rugby World Cup

– Paulica Ion and Ovidiu Tonita are both in the starting line-up for the Ireland match. They feature in the most experienced RWC team in Romania’s history, boasting 728 caps in their side, 255 more than Ireland (473)

– The starting line-up against Ireland is also Romania’s oldest in a RWC match, with an average age of 29 years 313 days

– Ovidiu Tonita will equal the Romania record of RWC appearances (14) held by RWC 2011 head coach Romeo Gontineac

– Tonita has played in Romania’s past 13 RWC matches, stretching back to RWC 2003, where his first match of the unbroken run was the 45-17 defeat by Ireland

– Full-back Catalin Fercu is still just one try from becoming Romania’s record try scorer. He has been stuck on 28 tries for 17 tests, stretching back more than two years