When and where is it on?
How can I watch it?
Virgin Media have the rights to this one in Ireland, the game is on Virgin Media One, coverage starts at 7pm. The game is also on ITV1 and the game will also be blogged on The Irish Times website.
How have Ireland done in their other games?
Very well. Ireland kicked their tournament off with an 82-8 win over Romania in Bordeaux. The 12 tries to one win was an Irish record at the World Cup and the second-biggest Irish winning margin ever.
They brought their tournament tally to 20 tries with a 59-16 win over Tonga in Nantes. Andy Farrell’s selection was again thoroughly vindicated as he opted to go with close to his strongest team, including captain Johnny Sexton who overtook Ronan O’Gara’s Irish all-time scoring record of 1,083 points.
Against the defending champions and easily their toughest test to date, Ireland beat South Africa 13-8. Mack Hansen got the try for Ireland in the first half as they held firm against the 7-1 split “bomb squad” from the Springboks in the second half. Their consecutive wins record is now at 16, stretching well over a year.
What are the permutations?
Any two from the three of South Africa, Ireland and Scotland can still advance to the knock-out stages. But one bonus point could be sufficient for Ireland to top the pool and advance.
If Ireland take zero points from next Saturday’s game – they are out. A solitary bonus point would secure Ireland a place in the quarter-finals provided they prevented Scotland from securing a try-scoring bonus point. Should Scotland win with four tries but Ireland get a losing bonus point, they will go through on points difference. If Ireland get two match points or more – ie a draw, two bonus points or a win – they will finish as Pool B winners. Avoid a big defeat is the order of the day then, although Ireland will be fully focused on victory.
What to expect from Scotland?
Scotland were disappointing in the opening game against South Africa and were comprehensively beaten 18-3. They have since recovered to easily beat Tonga 45-17 and Romania by an even great margin than Ireland did, 84-0. Ranked fifth in the world ahead of England, Scotland are a dangerous team. They beat France in August, and England in Twickenham in the Six Nations this year. However, they have not beaten in Ireland since 2017 and lost to them comfortably in the Six Nations this year, 22-7, and in the previous Rugby World Cup, 27-3. Ireland will be favourites for the encounter.
Scotland’s backline is very talented and the circumstances of the game mean that the Scots will be attack-focused to keep their competition hopes alive. Outhalf Finn Russell is one of the best playmakers in the world, while winger Duhan van der Merwe is capable of some incredible tries.
Ireland are in great shape with a relatively clean bill of health and a two-week rest since beating South Africa. Jack Conan has recovered fully from injury and is in contention to play. After Ronan Kelleher had some issues in the lineout against South Africa, Dan Sheehan came off the bench after recovering from injury and he could start for the first time in the tournament against Scotland.
Scotland reported no serious injury to any of their players against Romania but captain and flanker Jamie Richie picked up a head injury against Tonga and is continuing to be monitored. Scotland have had issues at hooker, where sixth choice Johnny Matthews was called up to the squad.
The teams will be announced on Thursday and will be updated here then.
What is the weather forecast?
It is still very pleasant in Paris but from October onwards the temperatures start to drop at night time to about 14 degrees from a high of 24 degrees in the daytime. No rain is expected for the game at the Stade de France.