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By Michael Morrow
BBC Sport NI in the Rugby World Cup
Defeat in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand could herald the end of a golden age in Irish rugby.
Prop Cian Healy admits that, together with head coach Joe Schmidt along with skipper Rory leaving after the championship, the game Tokyo is’do or die’.
The All Blacks are undefeated in their past 17 World Cup matches, continue losing to France from the quarter-finals in 2007.
“I think everybody understands the place we are in and also the opportunity of that which we must do,” said Healy.
“This will pose big challenges to the trainers to select that group, since everybody has put their hand up and wishes to participate.”
Regardless of the recent victories against New Zealand, winning 2 of the 3 encounters of Ireland, the All Blacks will go to topping Pool B. in the competition as clear favourites having played a few imperious rugby on their way
Ireland suffered a time with performances to answer inquiries over their ability to always perform close to their peak in the group stage.
Even though they failed to impress Russia and struggled against Japan, there have been strong Irish performances versus Samoa and Scotland that offered indications of a group capable of blending it.
“We have got some new stuff that we have not done previously,” teased Healy on Tuesday.
“It’s up to them to figure it out.”
Leinster prop Healy also dismissed the thought that Ireland’s recent strikes against New Zealand would give his side an edge.
Back in 2016 Ireland recorded their first win over the All Blacks before defeating them at home soil last November.
“It is definitely going to be another kettle of fish in a World Cup,” Healy said.
“They have gone the whole way a few occasions and we have not, so it is a huge challenge to people and we’re looking ahead.
“I don’t look back on any of them (past wins), they’re gone now and not one of them happen to be at a World Cup, so that they don’t matter an awful lot.”
The Republic of Ireland’s hopes of a Euro 2020 place rest on the next month’s last home match against Denmark.
Carl Frampton says he’s”delighted” to be making his comeback as he prepares to confront Tyler McCreary at Las Vegas on 30 November.
Cian Healy states Ireland regard Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final against New Zealand as a”do or die” game for the current squad.
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