Jump to main content


RWC Sevens Format: Ireland’s Route To Final Rounds

RWC Sevens Format: Ireland’s Route To Final Rounds

RWC Sevens Format: Ireland’s Route To Final Rounds

The Ireland Women celebrate their qualification for the Rugby World Cup Sevens, which begins on Friday in Cape Town ©INPHO/Stefan Constantin

The two Ireland teams (sponsored by TritonLake) launch their bids for glory at the Rugby World Cup Sevens on Friday. We take a look at what lies ahead in the straight knockout format in Cape Town.

The format was brought in for the 2018 Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, meaning that there are no pool stages and that every match truly counts towards finding the champions in the Men’s and Women’s competitions.

All of Ireland’s games are live on the RTÉ Player in the Republic of Ireland, while there will be coverage across Irish Rugby social media channels and on IrishRugby.ie. A full list of broadcasters is available here.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

The Ireland Men, coached by James Topping, have been drawn to play Portugal in the opening match of the pre-round of 16 at Cape Town Stadium on Friday (kick-off 8.45am local time/7.45am Irish time).

Victory in the pre-round of 16 will secure a team’s passage through to the round of 16, where those countries will be joined by the eight seeded nations.

If Ireland, who finished ninth at the 2018 World Cup, prevail in their opener, they will face familiar rivals England later on Friday (kick-off 2.39pm local time/1.39pm Irish time). The winners will advance to the Championship quarter-finals on day two.

Should they make it two wins out of two, Topping’s side will take on either hosts South Africa, Germany or Chile at the quarter-final stage. That last-eight clash will take place on Saturday at 10.33pm local time/9.33pm Irish time.

Decision day on Sunday and if Ireland make it through to the last four, they will be back in action at 12.35pm local time/11.35am Irish time with New Zealand and Argentina among their potential semi-final opponents.

Meanwhile, the Ireland Women, coached by Aiden McNulty, will play one game on Friday, knowing that a round of 16 win over Brazil (kick-off 1.54pm local time/12.54pm Irish time) will put them through to the last-eight.

If Ireland advance, keeping on course to match or better their sixth place finish from 2018, they will take on defending champions New Zealand or Colombia in a mouth-watering Saturday night quarter-final (kick-off 8.05pm local time/7.05pm Irish time).

Awaiting the victors at the semi-final stage on Sunday (kick-off 12.07pm local time/11.07am Irish time) could be Fiji, host nation South Africa or France.

With high stakes involved in every round and the winner-takes-all scenario, defeat in the pre-round of 16 sends teams to the Bowl competition and a loss in the round of 16 means they compete for the Challenge Trophy (ninth overall).