Peter O'Mahony warns Ireland of sides raising their games

Ireland are warned that they are the team EVERYONE wants to beat by veteran Peter O’Mahony ahead of World Cup opener against Romania

  • The world’s No1 team should have no difficulties against Romania on Saturday
  • O’Mahony insisted teams will raise their game becauase of his side’s status
  • The competition gets underway this evening when France take on New Zealand 
  • Latest Rugby World Cup 2023 news, including fixtures, live scores and results

Ireland kick off their Rugby World Cup on  Saturday with a stark warning from veteran Peter O’Mahony: they are the team everyone wants to beat.

Their opener against Romania will pose few challenges on the pitch, but with a daunting battle against South Africa now just a fortnight away, and Scotland also battling to escape from the tournament’s group of death, O’Mahony says the reality of being the world’s No1 team is dawning. Indifferent form in their three warm-up matches was partly about the opposition raising their game, he claimed, a reflection of Ireland’s unprecedented status.

‘It’s just been a reminder, which is great before a World Cup, that teams are going to be at their very, very best, and particularly now that we are world number one we’ve a big target on our back. There’s no point in putting it otherwise,’ said the flanker.

‘So, every team you play is going to be at their very best to try and knock you over, and I think it was a good reminder for us over the last few weeks of the different types of games and the way to approach them, that we need to be all over things from minute one to minute 80.’

World Rugby, the tournament organisers, confirmed on Friday evening that there will be water breaks at the Stade de Bordeaux on Saturday afternoon (KO 2.30pm Irish time), with temperatures forecast to hit 36 degrees Celsius. The Irish camp have also insisted that Mack Hansen’s omission from the match-day 23 is not for disciplinary reasons. The Connacht winger is the only one of Farrell’s available front-liners who will not feature in today’s game.

Ireland veteran peter O’Mahony has warned that sides will up their game against Ireland during the World Cup

The Irish will get their campaign underway on Saturday against Romania with high expectations for the competition

Romania will likely be no challenge for Ireland but bigger tests will come in the Pool matches

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