Peter Stringer: Ireland have every chance at the World Cup

Peter Stringer in action for Bath
Peter Stringer in action for Bath

The Betway ambassador looks ahead to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, with Ireland among the favourites to win the tournament.

A Special Event: The World Cup

Peter Stringer expressed his deep appreciation for the Rugby World Cup, emphasizing the unique honor it is to represent one's country. He acknowledged that despite some sour memories from exits in 2003 and 2007, the tournament's special nature remains intact.

"It's a huge honor to represent your country in any game, but a World Cup is special," Stringer said. "There's something unique about the tournament."

He also reminisced about his favorite rugby tour, the 2003 World Cup in Australia, highlighting the incredible support from Irish fans living Down Under. "You got a real sense of community away from home, and that made it such a special event," he fondly recalled.

A Different Ireland Team

Stringer noted the significant changes in the Irish team since his playing days. "When I was playing for Ireland, we always fancied our chances against the top teams in a one-off game," he said. "But to win a World Cup, you need to be on it every single week, and that was probably what we were lacking."

Also highlighting the current team's strength in depth and the ability to rotate the squad. "Now you look at the squad and there's real strength and depth there, which allows you to rotate your team a little bit more," he observed.

Change in Attitude: Andy Farrell's Impact

Stringer expressed immense respect for current Ireland coach Andy Farrell. "Farrell has brought about a transformation in attitude and playing style within the team. While acknowledging the previous regimented approach under Joe Schmidt, he pointed out that Farrell has instilled a newfound confidence in the players."

"Under Andy Farrell, there's not so much of a fear factor," Stringer said. "He's given them that license and that freedom to play what's in front of them."

He also praised Farrell's backroom team, comprising individuals like Mike Catt, Simon Easterby, Paul O'Connell, and John Fogarty, for their technical expertise and rugby intelligence.

Key Players to Watch

Going into RWC2023 Stringer highlighted Tadhg Furlong, Tadhg Beirne, and Caelan Doris in the pack for their physicality and all-around abilities. In the backs, he identified Johnny Sexton, Garry Ringrose, and Hugo Keenan as pivotal players for Ireland.

Pointing out that Keenan's presence in the backfield can "relieve pressure on Sexton, particularly in terms of kicking and decision-making."

Ireland's World Cup Prospects

As for Ireland's chances in the tournament, Stringer acknowledged they are on the tough side of the draw but remained optimistic. "There's no doubting the side of the draw that Ireland are on is just horrendous," he admitted. "But Ireland have every chance."

He predicted a big win against Scotland and believed that if they could get past the quarter-finals, they could go all the way. "I wouldn't put it past them winning the competition," he added.

World Cup Predictions:

  • Winner: His gut feeling pointed towards South Africa.
  • Finalists: He predicted an Ireland vs. South Africa final.
  • Top Try Scorer: Damian Penaud or Cheslin Kolbe.
  • Pool Winners: New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina, and a surprise pick, Fiji, to win Pool C.
  • Biggest Upset: He suggested that Fiji could upset Australia.

As we eagerly await the Rugby World Cup on Friday, Stringer's insights give fans plenty to think about. Whether his predictions come to fruition or not, the excitement and passion for the tournament remain as strong as ever. The journey of Ireland's rugby team, with its' transformed attitude and talented players under Farrell, promises to be a compelling story throughout the competition.


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