The Irish love of sport whether it’s of the Gaelic variety, horse racing, football or rugby union is unlimited and taking into account the strength and recent record of Ireland’s rugby team, the opportunities are plentiful to make some money.
Coached by Andy Farrell, Ireland should be considered seriously as a credible contender to win the Six Nations. Any side that can beat New Zealand by 29-20 as they did at Dublin last November must be one of the favourites and, remember, Ireland before Christmas also beat Japan and Argentina, so their form is top class, the attacking style is a constant threat and the Irish possess formidable power throughout the team and squad.
With Ireland’s provincial sides,Leinster, Munster, Connacht and Ulster making good progress in the Heineken Cup, Farrell is right to be optimistic and such is the strength of Irish rugby, competition for places is extremely keen.
Sexton captain for his third Six Nations campaign as skipper
While there’s some concern in Ireland that may be the team is over reliant on the skill and intelligence of Sexton, capped 106 in all Tests, the 36 year old remains the number one choice at fly half.
As Ireland go into the opening fixture against Wales in Dublin, Sexton will be short of highly competitive rugby, having returned recently from injury suffered in the famous victory against the All Blacks.
The Irish half back partnership of Sexton and Conor Murray, capped 92 times by his country and eight by the British and Irish Lions, continues to provide authority and one that drives Ireland forward.
Just for the record when it comes to backing Ireland: Sexton has scored not far short of a thousand points for his country and he doesn’t miss many shots at the posts…in 106 Tests, he’s scored 946 points…16 tries, 136 conversions, 194 penalties and four drop goals.
The power of Ireland’s forwards sets up try scoring opportunities
Ireland finished third in the Six Nations in 2021, and with forwards of the class and fire of Jack Conan, Tadhg Furlong, Peter O’Mahony, Andrer Porter, James Ryan, Tadhg Beirne, Caelan Doris and Cian Healy, no wonder they beat England, Scotland and Italy, and the defeats by France and Wales weren’t by much.
So you can expect success on the field in this tournament, and with an Irish backline containing stars such as Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw, Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki and uncapped players, Michael Lowry and Mack Hansen, Ireland have the ability to take scoring chances created by their outstanding forwards.
Ireland’s Six Nations Fixtures
Saturday February 5th: Ireland v Wales (Dublin)
Saturday February 12th: France v Ireland (Paris)
Sunday February 27th: Ireland v Italy (Dublin)
Saturday March 12th: England v Ireland (Twickenham)
Saturday March 19th: Ireland v Scotland (Dublin)
The full squad
Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Gavin Coombes, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Donan Kelleher, Dave Kilcoyne, Peter O’Mahony, Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, Dan Sheehan, Nick Timoney, Kieran Treadwell, Josh van der Flier.
Bundee Aki, Robert Baloucoune, Joey Carberry, Jack Carty, Craig Massey, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Jamison Gibson-Park, Mark Hansen,Robbie Henshaw, James Hume, Hugo Keenan, Jordan Larmour, Michael Lowry, Conor Murray, Garry Ringrose, Johnny Sexton.