The Ireland national rugby union team can trace its root back to 1875 when it played its first International Match against England. Played at the Oval, England on the 15th February 1975 the match was lost 7-0. The first home match was played at Leinster Cricket Club and took place in the same year but was also a loss to England.
The governing body for rugby union in Ireland is known as the Ireland Rugby Football Union, or IRFU for short. They were founded in 1874 as the Ireland Rugby Union but later unified with the Northern Ireland Union and became the IRFU.
The Irish national side annually competes in the Six Nations – a competition which they have won 14 times in 124 tournaments, which includes 3 Grand Slams.
Their first Grand Slam victory in the Five Nations came in 1948.
The most recent Irish Championship victory came in 2018, which included the third of their Grand Slams.
Along with the Six Nations itself, Ireland also plays for 3 other trophies during the Six Nations; the Triple Crown (awarded if either Scotland, England, Ireland or Wales beat all other Home Nations); Centenary Quaich (vs Scotland) and the Millennium Trophy (vs England).
Ireland has played their home matches at Lansdowne Road since 1878. From 2007 - 2010 matches took place at Croke Park (A GAA Stadium) due to the redevelopment of Lansdowne Road. In 2010 the brand new stadium - which has a capacity of 51,700 - was officially opened with Ireland losing to South Africa 21-23. Naming rights were sold to an insurance company and is now known as the Aviva Stadium.
The flags and anthems of the Irish Rugby team are surrounded in politics due to Ireland's divided and troubled history. Before home games, you will hear two anthems - Ireland’s Call and Amhrán na bhFiann. Before away games, you will only hear Ireland's Call.
Phil Coulter penned Ireland’s Call in April of 1995 as an alternative without the political connotations of Amhrán na bhFiann.
In their nine Rugby World Cup appearances, Ireland has made it to the quarter-final stage on seven occasions, but have never progressed any further.
At the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, Ireland lined up in Pool A, alongside Scotland, Japan, Russia and Samoa. In the first pool match, Ireland stunned an under par Scotland team 27-3. However, in Round 2 the shock result of the tournament was to be delivered by none other than hosts Japan. A tireless performance from Japan saw them take victory 19-12 and throw the group wide open. Ireland got back to winning ways over Russia and Samoa and were able to qualify from the group in second place. This also rewarded Ireland with automatic qualification to the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.
In the quarter-finals, Ireland came up against tournament favourites the New Zealand All Blacks. Ireland didn't bring their best form to this match and New Zealand delivered an untouchable performance. The final score was a hefty 46-14 win for New Zealand, sending Ireland home at the quarter-final stage yet again.
Irelands 2020 Guinness Six Nations Fixtures
In 2020, Ireland will be looking to get back to their form of 2018. That year, Ireland lifted the 6 Nations Championship and Grand Slam, as well as a second victory over New Zealand in as many years. This cemented their place at number 2 in the World Rugby rankings. However, 2019 saw somewhat of a collapse in form for Ireland. Two defeats in the Six Nations and a lacklustre Rugby World Cup saw Ireland pick up the tag of perennially peaking too soon. A new coaching team fronted up by Andy Farrell takes over from the outgoing Joe Schmidt. Also in the coaching team are Mike Catt, John Fogarty, Simon Easterby and Richie Murphy.
Round 1: Saturday 1st February - Ireland v Scotland; K.O 16.45, Aviva Stadium, Dublin. TV: ITV SPORT
Round 2: Saturday 8th February - Ireland v Wales; K.O 14.15, Aviva Stadium, Dublin. TV: ITV SPORT + S4C
Round 3: Sunday 23rd February - England v Ireland; K.O 15.00, Twickenham Stadium, London. TV: ITV SPORT
Round 4: Saturday 7th March - Ireland v Italy; K.O 14.15, Aviva Stadium, Dublin. TV: ITV SPORT
Round 5: Saturday 14th March - France v Ireland; K.O 20.00, Stade de France, Paris. TV: BBC SPORT
Ireland's 2020 Summer Tests
In the summer of 2020, Ireland head Down Under to take on a two-match tour of Australia.
Saturday 4th July: Australia v Ireland; Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane (kick-off TBC)
Saturday 11th July: Australia v Ireland; Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney (kick-off TBC)
Ireland's 2020 Autumn Tests
To round off 2020, Ireland will host three home test matches at the Aviva Stadium.
Weekend of 6th November: Ireland v Austalia; Aviva Stadium, Dublin (kick-off TBC)
Weekend of 13th November: Ireland v South Africa; Aviva Stadium, Dublin (kick-off TBC)
Weekend of 20th November: Ireland v Japan; Aviva Stadium, Dublin (kick-off TBC)
Canterbury has been official kit suppliers to Ireland since 2014, providing rugby shirts, training kit and leisurewear ranges. Phone company Vodafone remains as the official shirt sponsor.
The Ireland rugby shirt is traditionally green with white shorts and green socks. The emblem of the IRFU consists of a Shamrock and rugby ball.
First XV Rugbystuff.com stock official CCC Canterbury Ireland Rugby merchandise, with player’s replica and classic cotton rugby shirts, rugby balls, training kit and leisurewear all available online for immediate dispatch.
And we also have custom rugby shirt personalisation available, meaning you can get the name or number of your favourite Irish rugby player on the back of your Ireland rugby shirt from just £6!
We offer free, standard and next day throughout the United Kindom, and international tracked delivery almost everywhere else. Our service to Ireland by Royal Mail should see your package arrive with you in 3-5 days.