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Farrell & Sexton ‘proud’ despite Ireland blowing another Rugby World Cup




Farrell & Sexton ‘proud’ despite Ireland blowing another Rugby World Cup

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell says he was ‘proud’ of his team’s efforts despite missing out on a golden opportunity to win the Rugby World Cup.

Farrell’s side had been touted as potential World Cup winners after impressively claiming the Six Nations Grand Slam title earlier this year. However, despite plenty of support from sports bettors in the run-up to the tournament, Ireland once again failed to deliver when it mattered most.

Several Rugby World Cup betting sites made Ireland one of the favourites to lift the trophy, but a 28-24 defeat against New Zealand ended their hopes.

Despite suffering yet another quarter-final exit to leave loyal Irish punters empty-handed, Farrell was eager to accentuate the positives.

“I’m immensely proud of absolutely everyone connected to Irish rugby to be fair,” Farrell said. “The staff have been immense over the last four years.

“The players, not just in this squad but the players we’ve used in the four-year cycle have been a joy to work with. And not just that, the connection with the fans, it seems like it’s all one big family.

“I think the sad thing now for us is that for this group it’s probably the end. Obviously, it is for Johnny [Sexton], and Keith Earls – he is going to retire as well.

“Over the next 24 hours it’s time to make sure we get a smile back on our face as soon as we possibly can and celebrate what have been some unbelievable careers and what they have done for Irish rugby.”

Farrell’s comments about Sexton were particularly noteworthy, with the defeat on Saturday bringing down the curtain on the Ireland captain’s career.

He won four Six Nations titles – two of which were Grand Slams – but was unable to inspire Ireland to victory in a tournament they seem destined never to win.

With question marks hanging over the international futures of several other senior players, the Irish squad could have a very different look when Farrell selects his next line-up.

While fans will rightly reflect on Ireland missing another excellent chance to break their World Cup duck, Sexton praised his teammates for their efforts in getting themselves into contention.

“The last couple of years, in a green jersey anyway, have been the most enjoyable of my career,” Sexton said.

“It’s an incredible place to be and that’s what I’ll miss. But grateful as well, sitting here at 38 -I’ve had a few ups and downs. I’ll probably reflect on it a bit more in the next couple of weeks- spend time with my family.”

One of the most heartbreaking elements of Ireland’s defeat was the sense that the team had let down their sizeable following in Paris. An estimated 60,000 fans travelled for the game, turning the French capital into a sea of green.

The unwavering loyalty undoubtedly deserved a more positive outcome – a factor that was not lost on the outgoing Ireland captain after the game.

“How can you be prouder to be Irish when you see what’s happened over the last six weeks?” Sexton added. “We get behind the team like no other – it’s incredible and it’s not wasted on us.That’s why it is so hard to take really, that we didn’t give them another couple of weekends.

“This group will bounce back. They’re an incredible group, led by the man beside me(Farrell). The best group I have ever been a part of, bar none. These guys they will go on and achieve great things and I’ll be sitting in the stand, having a pint like you lads.”


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Jacob graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Reading. An avid footballer, he spent time under the FAW academy programme as well as Cardiff Corinthians. Later going on to play for his university and Wellington United whilst residing in New Zealand. He currently resides in Frome, Somerset. You can contact him at [email protected]


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