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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Michael Scully

Grand Slam success the latest leg of Ireland's World Cup journey, says Andy Farrell

Andy Farrell says that Saturday's Grand Slam triumph is all part of Ireland's World Cup journey.

The world number one ranked side made it 10 wins from 10 and, on the back of their 2023 Six Nations clean sweep, have only lost two of their last 20 fixtures.

In that period they have beaten the potential World Cup quarter-final opponents New Zealand - three times - and France.

READ MORE: More Grand Slam glory for Ireland as under-20s go back to back in the Six Nations

Ireland have also overcome France 2023 pool opponents South Africa and Scotland, as well as southern hemisphere sides Australia and Argentina.

"I said to you in New Zealand, 'Now this was the start of our World Cup year', and it was," said Farrell.

"And I suppose the most pleasing thing is that we've continued to be successful - you know, to find a way.

"Everyone was nervous about that except us.

"So you know this is part of the journey, isn't it? Obviously this stands on its own right, as does the New Zealand tour.

"But it's part of the journey of us as a group going forward into a World Cup.

"We’ll get two or three months pre-season training for the first time together (before the World Cup) and I expect ourselves to be better obviously because of that.”

Asked if Ireland are in a better place now than they were after beating the All Blacks 2-1 in last year's summer series, Farrell replied: “Well, we’ve carried on winning. Is that the yardstick, I don’t know.

"We just go on the performances and the performances were pretty good in New Zealand and we’ve continued to again find a way.

"It’s never been perfect but the game is not like that, so the mental strength of our game and large parts of our game are in a good place.

“But like I said, there’s a long way for us to go for us to be at our best, which is a great sign.”


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