Andy Farrell: 'No point turning up if we don’t believe we can win World Cup'

Andy Farrell: 'No point turning up if we don’t believe we can win World Cup'

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell believes it would be pointless for Ireland to even show up at the Rugby World Cup if they didn't believe they could win the tournament.

Andy Farrell's side heads into the tournament ranked number one in the world and has recently beaten every side they have faced. This includes former World Cup winners South Africa, New Zealand, England, and many others.

Despite being lauded for their rugby prowess and ability, Ireland has never gotten past the quarter-final stage of the tournament.

Defeats in 2019, 2015, and 2011 still linger in the memory of fans and former players. In 2019, hosts Japan pulled off one of the most significant upsets in Rugby World Cup history by defeating the second-ranked Ireland 19-12 in Shizuoka.

Farrell, who has instilled a different mentality in the 2023 version of the Ireland team, believes it would be foolish not to think that Ireland can lift the Webb Ellis Trophy later this year.

"There's an attitude within the group that we chase every day to make sure we're better as a team, better as individuals," he said.

"But what we've done in the past adds to a little bit of belief, how we are pushing to get better.

"We'll be judged in the coming weeks, but the confidence that we hope to have going into a World Cup has to be rock solid.

"There's no point turning up for a World Cup if we don't believe we can win it."

Despite Ireland being in the best place they have ever been in world rugby, Farrell also adds that the Irish team will have to improve and get to a better level if they truly want to be remembered as one of the great rugby sides.

"We have to keep evolving as a team," said the 48-year-old Englishman. "I'm not saying we're tinkering with things all the time, but we have to keep evolving.

"And I know that this is a broken record, but it's the truth: no part of our game is anywhere near good enough."

Ireland 2023 Rugby World Cup squad

Forwards (18):
Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham,Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, David Kilcoyne, Jeremy Loughman, Joe McCarthy, Peter O'Mahony, Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, Dan Sheehan, Josh van der Flier.

Backs (15):
Bundee Aki, Ross Byrne, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Keith Earls, Jamison Gibson-Park, Mack Hansen, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan, James Lowe, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Jimmy O’Brien, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton

Ireland Fixtures, Rugby World Cup 2023 - Pool B:

  • Ireland v Romania, Saturday 9 September, Stade de Bordeaux (2.30pm Irish time/3.30pm local time)
  • Ireland v Tonga, Saturday 16 September, Stade de la Beaujoire (8pm Irish time/9pm local time)
  • Ireland v South Africa, Saturday 23 September, Stade de France (8pm Irish time/9pm local time)
  • Ireland v Scotland, Saturday 7 October, Stade de France (8pm Irish time/9pm local time