• Kyodo


The following are profiles of each of the 20 participating teams in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Summary: After winning the 2018 Six Nations Championship with a Grand Slam and dispatching New Zealand for only the second time ever, Ireland was riding a wave of momentum going into 2019. While several disappointing performances and injuries to key players, including prop Cian Healy, put its readiness for the World Cup into question, a pair of confidence-boosting wins over Wales may have signaled a return to form. With head coach Schmidt departing and captain Rory Best set to retire from professional rugby after the tournament, the world’s No. 1 ranked team will be gunning hard to reach their first semifinal or beyond.

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