Ireland National Rugby Union Team
Walking down to Lansdowne Road is a reminder of the special place rugby has in Ireland – maybe not a birthplace, but definitely a spiritual home. While Gaelic football and hurling provide the great local rivalries, rugby is the all-Irish game that brings the country’s talents together. Pride, passion and pre-match pints are a tradition that spans the generations – and you can be part of it too. So check the fixture list and take a look at what’s on offer in our choice of Ireland Rugby Union Tickets at StubHub!
Ireland’s rugby history and traditions
Most of Ireland’s home matches are played in the beautifully redesigned national stadium on the Lansdowne Road site. However, matches have also been played at Croke Park, historically the home of Gaelic games, and at Ravenhill in Belfast. Ireland continue to draw players from the four thriving provincial teams – Munster, Leinster, Ulster and Connacht – and with a competitive feeder structure that includes the Ireland Wolfhounds team, the national squad has a powerful talent base.
To be an Irish rugby fan is to experience dejection as well as triumph: the lean years of the 1990s and the last-minute Michael Lynagh try that turned a win over Australia into a 19-18 defeat. But even in that decade, Ireland supplied the Lions with talents like the Wallace brothers and hooker Keith Wood, affectionately nicknamed “The Raging Potato”. They form a link to the golden age of Irish rugby: the emergence of players like Ronan O’Gara, Brian O’Driscoll, Gordon D’Arcy and Paul O’Connell, who were to lift trophies for club and country.
Ironically, one of Ireland’s finest performances came not in Dublin, but on neutral ground. The foundations of the victory over the All Blacks in Chicago in 2016 – Ireland’s first in over a century – were laid by a ferocious but disciplined display by the pack. Career-best performances by Simon Zebo and the inspired Conor Murray were capped by tries, while a Henshaw try at the close made the game safe.
For late drama, few games can match Ireland's Six Nations Grand Slam match in 2009 – their first clean sweep for over 60 years. Facing Wales at the Millennium Stadium, a close game sparked into life when intense pressure brought a try for O’Driscoll. A few minutes later, a moment of inspiration from O’Gara, and a kind bounce, extended Ireland’s lead. In the final dramatic minutes, Stephen Jones seemed to have kicked Wales to victory, only for O’Gara to land a drop goal of his own.
Similar rugby tournaments
Watch Ireland’s provinces compete in European Rugby. Or follow Ireland’s stars in the British and Irish Lions.