The Irish rugby team - © Faiz Azizan
The Irish rugby team - © Faiz Azizan

Ireland is a country that lives to the rhythm of the rugby seasons: Limerick is the spiritual capital of the country. Widely played on the island, the Irish team is renowned for its beautiful game, its endurance, as well as its respect for the values of the sport. (There is no team more fair play!)

Rugby in Ireland: a strong national team

A team renowned for its solidity and cohesion

The Irish team is nicknamed the team of the XV of Clubs, the latter being its official symbol. This clover seems to bring luck to this team: this team has been 18 times winner of the 5/6 nations tournament including a grand slam. The balance is more nuanced concerning the world cup, because it has never exceeded the ¼ final …

On the colour side, and if you are a supporter, you should know that the Irish jersey is green with a clover on the heart. Add to this a white shorts, green socks, and you’ll be in the colours of the Irish rugby team! There is also a 2nd official white jersey, worn on certain occasions.

Usually the Greens play at Lansdowne Road (Dublin) but due to renovations, the Croke Park Stadium (Dublin) became their replacement stadium. (This was originally reserved for Gaelic sports, administered by the GAA and is kindly loaned to the rugby team, although the sport is of British origin)

Ireland’s Call, written in 1995 by Phil Coulter, is the national anthem. When the matches take place in Dublin, 2 anthems are played: Amhrán na bhFiann (The Soldier’s Song) which is the Irish anthem and Ireland’s Call. Abroad only Ireland’s Call is played before the matches.

The VI Nations Tournament

A tournament bringing together the best teams in European rugby

In terms of popularity, the annual VI nations tournament attracts the most spectators. This tournament, which was founded in 1883, was initially contested by Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, but it was only later that France and Italy were admitted.

Out of 107 tournaments played Ireland won 18 and England 35 (total of single and shared wins). When a team wins all the matches of this tournament, it is called a “Grand Slam”.

Several trophies are included in this tournament:

  • The Calcutta Cup (1878) is played between England and Scotland and is awarded to the winning team of this confrontation.
  • The Triple Crown (1883) is a mini championship between England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland. It is awarded in the same way as the Grand Slam.
  • Millennium trophy goes to the winner between England and Ireland
  • The Eurostar trophy for the winner France – England
  • Garibaldi Trophy pits France against Italy

The wooden spoon is anti-trophy as it is awarded to the team that did not win any games in the tournament.