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Ireland vs Tonga LIVE: World Cup favourites aim to continue unbeaten run

Rugby World Cup favourites Ireland will look to continue their fine start to the campaign when they face Tonga this weekend.

Andy Farrell’s side lived up to their pre-tournament billing with an emphatic 82-8 win over Romania in their Pool B opener.


Ireland claimed an Irish record 12 tries during their World Cup openerCredit: Getty

Veteran Irish captain Johnny Sexton made his first appearance in almost six months as he overtook Ronan O’Gara as the country’s leading World Cup points scorer with two tries.

The 38-year-old is bidding to sign off from rugby in the perfect way having revealed he will retire at the end of the tournament.

The world’s top side and Six Nations champions are on a run of 14 straight victories dating back to defeat to New Zealand in July 2022.

Ireland next face Tonga, who were the chosen Pool B side to sit out the opening weekend of fixtures.

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Ireland vs Tonga: Date and how to follow

This Pool B Rugby World Cup clash will take place on Saturday, September 16.

It’s due to get underway at 8pm UK time at the Stade de la Beaujoire, the home ground of Ligue 1 side Nantes.

The match will be broadcast free-to-air on ITV1 or ITVX, with their coverage starting at 7:15pm.

talkSPORT will have updates from France throughout and will also have all the best of the reaction.

To tune in to talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2 through the website, click HERE for the live stream.

You can also listen via the talkSPORT app, on DAB digital radio, through your smart speaker and on 1089 or 1053 AM.

Sexton is the oldest international in Ireland's history


Sexton is the oldest international in Ireland’s historyCredit: Getty

Ireland vs Tonga: Squads


Forwards: Ryan Baird, Finlay Bealham, Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Caelan Doris, Tadhg Furlong, Iain Henderson, Rob Herring, Ronan Kelleher, David Kilcoyne, Jeremy Loughman, Joe McCarthy, Peter O’Mahony, Tom O’Toole, Andrew Porter, James Ryan, Dan Sheehan, Josh van der Flier.

Backs: Bundee Aki, Ross Byrne, Craig Casey, Jack Crowley, Keith Earls, Jamison Gibson-Park, Mack Hansen, Robbie Henshaw, Hugo Keenan, James Lowe, Stuart McCloskey, Conor Murray, Jimmy O’Brien, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton (captain).


Forwards: Sosefo Apikotoa, Adam Coleman, Leva Fifita, Vaea Fifita, Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, Feao Fotuaika, Solomone Funaki, Tanginoa Halaifonua, Sione Havili Talitui, Tau Koloamatangi, Paula Latu, Sam Lousi, Sitiveni Mafi, Siua Maile, Samiuela Moli, Paula Ngauamo, Semisi Paea, Ben Tameifuna, Sione Vailanu.

Backs: Pita Ahki, Malakai Fekitoa, William Havili, Fine Inisi, Solomone Kata, Otumaka Mausia, George Moala, Manu Paea, Salesi Piutau, Augustine Pulu, Sonatane Takulua (captain), Kyren Taumoefolau, Afusipa Taumoepeau, Anzelo Tuitavuki.

Ireland have been unbeatable for the past year


Ireland have been unbeatable for the past yearCredit: AFP

Ireland vs Tonga: What has been said?

Ireland defence coach Simon Easterby has revealed that captain Sexton will play as much as he can during the tournament.

“He’s the captain, he’s the talisman in the squad and the more minutes he can play the better,” said Easterby.

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Easterby added: “Johnny’s not got potentially many more times wearing the green jersey and – those of you who know him – he wants to play every minute that he can.

“That will be a conversation between him and Faz [head coach Farrell] and making sure that he and Faz are happy with the discussions and how they want to map out the next couple of weeks.”

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