Ireland clash with Scotland in the Rugby World Cup at the International Stadium, Yokohama on Sunday, a vital match up between the two favourites to qualify from Pool A.
Ireland v Scotland, Sunday 22nd September, Yokohama, KO 09:45 (South African time)
Weather Forecast – Yokohama Stadium
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)
Assistant Referees: Pascal Gaüzère (France), Alexandre Ruiz (France)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)
Ireland finished third in the Six Nation's earlier in the year, finishing with a record of 3 wins and 2 defeats. The defeats came in Wales and at home to England but they did beat Scotland 22-13 in Edinburgh and they will come up against the Scots again here. Ireland's warm up matches delivered wins at home to Italy (29-10) and home (19-10) and away (27-17) to Wales but they were thrashed 57-15 by England at Twickenham.
In RWC 2015 Ireland once again failed to get beyomd the quarter finals, a round they have fallen at on a total of 6 occasions. They won all 4 of their pool matches to finish ahead of France and Italy before crashing out to Argentina.
Ireland are trading at around 1 / 4 to finish top of this pool. They can be backed either side of 10/1 to be crowned champions and 5/2 to reach the final.
Scotland finished fifth in the Six Nations managing just 1 win alongside 1 draw and 3 defeats. That sole win came early in the tournament at home to Italy (who finished with the wooden spoon) but Scotland did end on a high with a sterling fightback to draw 38-38 with England at Twickenham. In their warm up matches Scotland lost 32-3 to France away from home before beating Les Bleus 17-14 in Edinburgh. After that they beat Georgia at home (44-10) and away (36-9).
A fourth placed finish in 1991 is Scotland's best return in RWC finals and in 2015 they came through the pool stage as runners up to the Springboks (3 wins and 1 defeat) and they were edged out at the quarter final stage by the Wallabies in controversial circumstances.
Scotland have been trading at around 33/10 to top this pool and you can get 100/1 for them to be crowned champions and 9/1 to reach the final.
Ireland: 15 Jordan Larmour, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 James Ryan, 4 Iain Henderson, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Rory Best (c), 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Niall Scannell, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 Tadhg Beirne, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Jack Carty, 23 Chris Farrell
Scotland: 15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Duncan Taylor, 12 Sam Johnson, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 John Barclay, 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Stuart McInally (c), 1 Allan Dell
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Scott Cummings, 20 Blade Thomson, 21 Ali Price, 22 Chris Harris, 23 Darcy Graham
Head to Head
2019 6N Edinburgh Scotland 10322 Ireland (Tries 1-3)
2018 6N Dublin Ireland 28-8 Scotland (Tries 4-1)
2017 6N Edinburgh Scotland 27-22 Ireland (Tries 3-3)
2016 6N Dublin Ireland 35–25 Scotland (Tries 4-3)
2015 6N Edinburgh Scotland 10-40 Ireland (Tries 1-4)
2014 6N Dublin Ireland 28–6 Scotland (Tries 3-0)
2013 6N Edinburgh Scotland 12-8 Ireland (Tries 0-1)
2012 6N Dublin Ireland 32–14 Scotland (Tries 4-1)
2011 6N Edinburgh Scotland 18-21 Ireland (Tries 0-3)
Betting - Handicap
Ireland -8.5 points at 9/10
Scotland +8.5 points at 9/10
Quotes are an average of what was on offer from a selection of bookmakers at the time of writing and are subject to change.
Based on current form this looks like the softest group but I am expecting both Ireland and Scotland to step up their games in this RWC. I had this marked down as a fairly comfortable Ireland win but given they are missing a couple of players I have reassessed and will back the Irish to win by 12 points or less.
Bet: 2 units Ireland win by 12 points or less at 81/50 Sportingbet