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16th Sep 2023

Ireland vs. Tonga: All the biggest moments, talking points and player ratings

Rory Fleming

Conor Murray

A chance for Ireland to win a 15th straight game and head into two massive games in real form.

Andy Farrell’s men take on Tonga in another big World Cup Pool B match in Nantes. We will have all the biggest moments, talking points and full Ireland player ratings in our live feed [below].

On Thursday, Farrell named an Ireland team that, barring two positions, full-strength. Tonga have some heavy-hitters in their XV and they are not being taken lightly.

Click on the key point you want to read about, or just keep scrolling to see updates in our live hub.

Ireland player ratings

Match preview and previous Ireland player ratings

Looking ahead to the match, and explaining his team selections, on Thursday, Andy Farrell told reporters, “It’s a different game, isn’t it? A different challenge, Tonga.

“Respecting the opposition is absolutely at the forefront of our minds, respecting the competition, but more so respecting ourselves. Every game is of the same importance for us and a strong side is what we’ve got anyway within the group of 33.”

“I’m sure that everyone would like to see that part of their game grow,” he added, “take their opportunities when they can. Making sure that we’re consistent with getting better is absolutely the key.

“Having said that, the opposition’s got a say in that, haven’t they? We’re playing against a good side this weekend… We’re fit, we’re determined and we’ve been on point as far as our attitude this week, and it needs to be that because we need to take a step forward.”

Looking back at our Ireland player ratings for the warm-up games and that RWC opener, it gives us an idea of who is in form and who needs to blow off the last remaining cobwebs.

Jacob Stockdale, who did not make the final squad, and Caelan Doris were the top performers in the win over Italy. Against England, Hugo Keenan, Mack Hansen, Tadhg Beirne and Josh van der Flier were the top dogs. Hansen did well against Samoa, along with Ryan Baird and Conor Murray.

In the Romania game, Keenan, Bundee Aki, Johnny Sexton and Joe McCarthy all scored 8/10s.


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