What’s next for Andy Farrell and Ireland after World Cup heartbreak?

After Ireland’s early exit from this year’s World Cup, we ask what’s next for Andy Farrell and the Ireland rugby team.

What’s next for Andy Farrell and Ireland after World Cup heartbreak?
Credits: commons.wikimedia.org; Pexels/ Beto Valderrama

It was yet more disappointment for Ireland at the 2023 World Cup as they bailed out valiantly in the quarter-finals at the hands of runners-up New Zealand.

With some key squad members ageing and four years to wait before getting another crack at the World Cup, the question remains: what’s next for Andy Farrell’s side?

Always looking forward – Australia 2027


Ireland looked favourites to lift the trophy when they won all four pool games, including a 13-8 victory over eventual champions South Africa in Paris.

Furthermore, there was certainly no shame in Ireland’s World Cup exit. It was a closely fought defeat against an impressive All-Blacks team that was unlucky not to go all the way.

They remain at number two in the world rankings, a position which is mirrored in the betting UK odds: Ireland (6/4) is second only to France (6/5) to retain their Six Nations title.

Moreover, Farrell’s side are third behind South Africa (3/1) and New Zealand (5/2) at 5/1 to win their first World Cup in 2027.

After dominating arguably the toughest group in France, there is plenty of value in Ireland to finally get their hands on the elusive World Cup in Australia.

The betting calculator shows that a £10 stake on Ireland would land £86 if they win the trophy or £66 if they make the final.

Assert Six Nations authority – back-to-back champions?

Ireland are looking to become back-to-back Six Nations champions for the second time this decade.
Credit: Pexels/ Beto Valderrama

First things first, Farrell will be looking for his team to reassert their authority in the 2024 Six Nations. They cruised to victory in 2023, helping themselves to a Grand Slam along the way.

Their campaign started with dominant 34-10 and 32-19 victories over Wales and France – the previous two champions – and ended with a 29-16 schooling of bitter rivals England.

The 2024 Six Nations gets underway in February, so the Irish players won’t have too much time to feel sorry for themselves.

The first game of the tournament could arguably be the decider as they take on Antoine Dupont’s 2022 winners France. The match is scheduled for 2 February, and Farrell’s side will need to hit the ground running if they are to successfully defend their crown.

They will then take on Italy (11 February), Wales (24 February), England (9 March), and Scotland (16 March) as they look to become back-to-back champions for the second time this decade.

Unrecognisable squad by 2027 World Cup – the end of an era


Farrell will also have one eye on Australia in 2027 as he attempts to rebuild Ireland’s squad and continue the hunt for World Cup glory.

Johnny Sexton and Keith Earls have already confirmed their retirement from the international game, but there are also doubts regarding whether the likes of Bundee Aki, Conor Murray, and Peter O’Mahony will still be around in four years.

While the squad will look largely unrecognisable by the time Ireland travels Down Under in 2027 – there is even a chance Andy Farrell is no longer at the helm – they will no doubt be amongst the favourites to put an end to their torrid World Cup run.

The Irish development system is a revolving door for world-class talent, and it is only a matter of time until the newest stars emerge with dreams of finally securing glory on the biggest stage with their beloved nation.

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