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Opta Match Facts Preview: Ireland v Scotland

Opta Match Facts Preview: Ireland v Scotland

Tadhg Furlong takes on Rob Harley during the sides' 2019 Guinness Six Nations clash at BT Murrayfield back in February ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Opta bring you all the team and player facts you need as the build-up continues to Ireland’s Rugby World Cup opener against Scotland in Yokohama tomorrow (kick-off 4.45pm local time/8.45am Irish time).


– Ireland have won six of their last seven games against Scotland, including their last two on the bounce

– This will be just the second meeting between Ireland and Scotland at the Rugby World Cup, with their only previous encounter ending in a 24-15 win to Scotland in October 1991

– Ireland have won eight of their last 10 Rugby World Cup games. However, they will be looking to avoid back-to-back defeats for the first time since 2007 after ending their 2015 campaign with a 43-20 quarter-final loss to Argentina

– Scotland have won only five of their last 10 Rugby World Cup matches (L5). They have not picked up a victory over tier one opposition at the tournament since they defeated Italy 18-16 at the 2007 edition

– Scotland have opened each of their last four Rugby World Cup campaigns with a win, including a 45-10 triumph over this year’s hosts Japan at the 2015 edition

– Ireland have won the opening match of their last five Rugby World Cup tournaments. They had lost their opening game at two of the three previous World Cups

– Scotland averaged the most metres gained (458) and the most defenders beaten (29) per game during the 2019 Six Nations, while their scrum success rate (96%) was also the highest of any side in the competition

– Ireland averaged the fewest missed tackles per game (18) of any team during the 2019 Six Nations, while Scotland averaged the most (29 per game)

– Greig Laidlaw (695) is five points away from 700 for Scotland in Test rugby. Only Chris Paterson (809 points) has scored more than him

– Ireland’s Jacob Stockdale gained the most metres (395 from 42 carries) of any player during the 2019 Six Nations. He also beat the most defenders (23)


Rory Best will win his 121st cap, becoming the outright 13th most-capped player in Test history. It will be his 99th start in an Ireland jersey

– In the last 10 years just two tier one props have beaten five-plus defenders in a match – Tadhg Furlong (v Argentina in 2017 & Australia in 2018) and Dave Kilcoyne (v Italy & Wales in 2019) managing it twice each

Tadhg Beirne has won 56 turnovers in the PRO14 since the beginning of 2017/18, 10 more than any other player, with 38 of those coming via jackals

Jacob Stockdale has scored 16 tries in just 21 Test appearances, already moving into Ireland’s top 10 try scorers of all-time, level with Ronan O’Gara and one behind both Brendan Mullin and Andrew Trimble

Jack Carty was the top points scorer in the PRO14 last season, scoring 157 points for Connacht. He also made the joint-fifth most try assists (10, level with Scotland’s Ali Price)


Stuart Hogg is set to win his 70th cap for Scotland. He is the first player to reach that tally of caps for Scotland before turning 28

– Finn Russell has assisted seven tries in international rugby in 2019, more than any other player who could feature at this year’s Rugby World Cup

– Darcy Graham has scored five tries in seven Tests for Scotland – each of his five tries have come when he has started the game though (five starts and two replacement appearances)

– John Barclay will win his 75th cap, moving level with Gordon Bulloch in ninth place on Scotland’s all-time caps list, two behind Nathan Hines and Jason White (77 caps)

– Jonny Gray has missed just 19 of 726 attempted tackles in his Scotland career, a tackle success rate of 97%


Squad Average Age: Ireland 27 years 337 days / Scotland 28 years 305 days
Starting XV Average Age: Ireland 28 years 127 days / Scotland 29 years 187 days

Squad Average Height (cm): Ireland 187 / Scotland 187
Starting XV Average Height (cm): Ireland 187 / Scotland 187

Squad Average Weight (kg): Ireland 104 / Scotland 103
Starting XV Average Weight (kg): Ireland 104 / Scotland 102
Starting Forwards Total Weight (kg): Ireland 895 / Scotland 888

Starting XV Caps: Ireland 679 / Scotland 630
Replacement Caps: Ireland 117 / Scotland 151