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IN OPPOSITION: Ireland

3rd August 2017, 10:35

wales_international

IN OPPOSITION: Ireland

In our final IN OPPOSITION feature, Ryan Gould takes a closer look at Ireland, Wales' final opponents in the Rugby League World Cup 2017 group stages.

 

WHERE AND WHEN WILL WALES FACE IRELAND?

Wales will take on Ireland in their final group match on Sunday, November 12 at 7.30am (3.30pm AWST).

The match will be played at Perth Rectangular Stadium, which has a capacity of 20,500 and had a brand new East Stand with new undercover and corporate facilities constructed in 2013. 

It will be part of a double-header as England and France will go head-to-head at the stadium two and a half hours later. 

Perth is the capital and largest city of the state of Western Australia and has a population of nearly two million.

Sport is an important part of life in Perth. Both Australian rules and rugby union, in particular, are extremely popular. 

In Novemeber, temperatures are relatively cool compared to other parts of Australia, with averages around 20°C.

Perth Rectangular Stadium

 

WHAT IS IRELAND'S WORLD CUP RECORD LIKE?

Rugby League World Cup 2017 will be the fourth World Cup that Ireland have participated in since their debut in 2000. 

In their first tournament, they made it to the quarter-finals after winning all three of their group matches, but they were then beaten by England.

They again made it past the group stages in 2008, before losing to Fiji in the semi-final qualifier.

In the last World Cup in 2013, though, they were placed in a tough group with Australia, England and France and lost all three matches.  

 

 

Ireland lin-up ahead of their RLWC2013 group match with England

 

WHEN DID IRELAND LAST TAKE TO THE FIELD?

Ireland beat Russia in Bray last October to book their place at Rugby League World Cup 2017. 

After beating Spain 46-6 in their opening qualifier, they knew that victory over Russia would secure their spot in the tournament. 

A number of their Super League stars, such as Scott Grix, Oliver Roberts and Toby King, got in on the scoring in a comfortable victory. 

 

 

Ireland v Spain

WHICH IRELAND PLAYERS WILL CATCH YOUR EYE?

Liam Finn, Super League side Wakefield Trinity's halfback, has bags of experience and, if you let him, he can dictate a match. 

The 33-year-old has played for Ireland for nearly a decade and captained the side at Rugby League World Cup 2013. 

He will be a familiar face for Wales head coach John Kear, who coaches him at Wakefield. 

Another man Kear knows well is Scott Grix, who also plays under him at Trinity. 

33-year-old Grix, like Finn, has a wealth of experience at the highest level and has been an outstanding fullback throughout his career. 

On his day, he can cause anybody problems in attack, as well as being a trusted figure defensively.

Ireland head coach Mark Aston

WHO IS IN CHARGE OF IRELAND?

Mark Aston, the Sheffield Eagles head coach, is the man in charge of Ireland. 

49-year-old Aston took over the reigns in 2011 and has been the face of Irish rugby league since. 

In 2014, he came very close to leading Ireland to the European Championship title, finishing level on points with Scotland and France and losing out only on points difference. 

 

FAN INFORMATION

Tickets for Wales' clash with Ireland at Perth Rectangular Stadium are now on sale HERE.

Are you planning on travelling to Perth to cheer on the lads? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.