Predicting Ireland's first-choice XV for the 2023 Rugby World Cup

Bernard Jackman, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey had several different visions as they gazed into the future.

Leinster lock Ryan Baird in action for the Ireland U20s at the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship.
Leinster lock Ryan Baird in action for the Ireland U20s at the 2019 World Rugby U20 Championship.
Image: Pablo Gasparini/INPHO

AHEAD OF A brief summer break, The42 Rugby Weekly drew a line under its podcast season with an episode which hinged upon several recommendations from regular listeners: predicting Ireland’s first-choice team for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Sure, many of you will rightly balk at the notion of gazing ahead to the showpiece in France in three years’ time — perhaps only the general unease of the past few months has finally condemned the post-2019 World Cup malaise to the bowels of your subconscious — but as presenter Gavan Casey stressed early doors in today’s pod, it was merely a framework around which Bernard Jackman and Murray Kinsella could discuss and debate the best of Irish rugby’s up-and-comers.

There were several differences in opinion — at one stage, Gavan pointedly told Murray he was wrong, which almost never happens — but when the dust settled, there were three interesting-looking teams sprinkled with youth and left–field calls, as well as a few experienced campaigners which may or may not take listeners by surprise.

As a taster, we’ve listed Bernard’s first XV below. To listen to the reasoning behind it, and to hear Murray’s team as well as Gavan’s altogether better team*, just search for ‘The42 Rugby Weekly’ on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your pods. You can also listen at, and download from, the following SoundCloud link.

* Gavan may have written this teaser article.

Bernard Jackman’s predicted first-choice Ireland XV for the 2023 Rugby World Cup

15. Will Addison
14. Jordan Larmour
13. Garry Ringrose (captain)
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Jacob Stockdale
10. Joey Carbery
9. John Cooney

1. Andrew Porter
2. Ronan Kelleher
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. James Ryan
5. Ryan Baird
6. Jack O’Donoghue
7. Dan Leavy
8. Max Deegan

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Fire away in the comments section with your predicted teams, captains, and whatever else tickles your fancy!

Bernard Jackman, Murray Kinsella and Gavan Casey predict their first-choice Ireland XVs for the next World Cup, while Bernard and Murray also give their assessments of Connacht’s two recent southern-hemisphere recruits:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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