So far Ireland have proved to be among the most surprising performers in this Rugby World Cup. With four wins from four, including a giant killing display against Australia and a very assured second half display against a highly physical Italian side, confidence is riding high within the Irish camp. The possibility of reaching a World Cup semi-final is firmly within the sights of the Irish team and indeed the nation who have been eagerly following this exciting and intriguing competition. Ireland have never reached the semi final stage, as two quarter finals in 2007 and 2004 has been the furthest the team have ever reached.
Ireland face Wales, who are also in very good form in this competition and will provide stiff competition to Ireland’s progression in the competition. The Welsh are extremely familiar opponents and Ireland perhaps, take the favourites tag into the match, as today Ireland moved up to fifth in the World rankings, one place ahead of Wales in sixth.
After the taxing game against the Italians, there is a clean bill of health except for Rory Best who picked up a sprained ACL injury in his right shoulder but has not yet been entirely ruled out of the competition. This would be a huge blow to the squad as Ireland have already lost Jerry Flannery to a recurrent calf injury. Munster hooker Michael Sherry has been called up to the squad as cover, however Best remains a member of the squad.
Declan Kidney will name his squad tomorrow for the quarter final clash. More updates to follow from The Physio Company later on in the week.