Many Brazilians in Ireland may not be aware, but Ireland at present are the world’s number one ranked rugby team, an incredible achievement given it’s small population which is similar to Rio de Janeiro, and even more impressive considering that rugby is one of 4 popular sport in Ireland, along with football, gaelic football and hurling.
Just this weekend Ireland beat South Africa in a friendly, while earlier this year they beat New Zealand by two games to one, in a series of three games in New Zealand.
Some interesting facts about the Irish Rugby Team
- Unlike the football team, the Ireland rugby team is a united team which includes Northern Ireland, itself a different nation which is part of the United Kingdom. For that reason they don’t play the Irish national anthem or the British anthem before games, instead they play a popular song, Ireland’s call.
- The players are all based in Ireland. Unlike the soccer team, which doesn’t include a single player based in Ireland, the rugby team features players only based in Ireland. This is mainly because football in Ireland isn’t sustainable if you’re a top Irish professional, with no clubs able to compete with the English Premier League for wages.
- Rugby is considered a gentleman’s sport in Ireland. If you attend a rugby match, you won’t encounter fans shouting abuse or any hooliganism. In fact, you might even end up sitting next to the opposite team’s fans. It’s very popular in fee paying schools and universities.
Some of Ireland rugby’s best players
- Tadhg Furlong: Tadhg is considered one of the best forwards in world rugby and one of the leaders to emerge in the Irish team. Hailing from County Wexford he plays for Leinster.
- Johnny Sexton: Johnny Sexton is a veteran from Dublin, who plays as a fly-half for Leinster. He is currently captain of the team, along with being captain at club level. He was voted as World Rugby Player of the year in 2018 and was nominated on other occasions.
- Conor Murray: Connor is a scrum half who plays for Munster, in his native Limerick city. He represented the Lions team numerous times, a team comprising the best players from Great Britain and Ireland who play series against the worlds best. He has over 100 caps for Ireland and was also awarded a place in World Rugby’s Team of the Decade for 2010 – 2020 .
- Peter O’Mahony: Peter is a flanker who comes from Cork and who represents Munster Rugby. He has almost 100 caps at country level, and he’s also captained Munster, Ireland and the Lions teams.
Getting tickets for a rugby game
Obtaining tickets for an Ireand rugby game can be challenging, depending on the opposition. Tickets sell out fast if they’re playing one of the bigger teams, although you might be lucky for the less popular opposition.
You can find out more about ticketing on the Irish Rugby Football Association website (IRFU).