A new study shows that the majority of the Irish public believes Ireland will make it to the semi-finals at the Rugby World Cup.

Leading energy provider Energia has conducted a survey ahead of the men's Rugby World Cup starting on Friday, September 8 to understand how the Irish population are feeling about the team's chances.

The results highlight the special place that rugby holds in the hearts of the Irish and their high hopes for success in France. 

It’s safe to say that the Irish are backing their team, as almost three-quarters (74%) of people surveyed believe Ireland will get to at least the semi-finals and 44% believe they’ll go all the way. 

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When it comes to public support, over 50% of people in 11 counties believe Ireland will win: 

  • Donegal 64%
  • Carlow 60%
  • Louth 60%
  • Leitrim 60%
  • Wexford  57%
  • Cavan 54%
  • Laois 53%
  • Tipperary 53%
  • Limerick 50%
  • Sligo 50%
  • Wicklow 50%

Whilst rugby hasn’t always been the leading sport in Ireland, 31% now state it’s their favorite sport meaning it’s now taken over from football (27%), Gaelic Football (23%), and Hurling/Camogie (19%). A huge 61% of people surveyed are planning on watching the rugby game and will be cheering on Ireland, hopefully all the way to the final. 

Although the sport has grown vastly in popularity, a surprising 15% didn’t know the rugby game was happening this year, perhaps they’ll be “converted” if Ireland takes the win. 

The Energia survey was conducted between July 25 and August 24. 

Speaking about the country's love for the sport, Ross O’Mullane, Head of Digital at Energia Grou, said: “In a country where rugby has grown massively in popularity during recent years, it’s become not just sport but a way of life, these survey results underline the deep connection that exists between Irish people and their national team. The potential for an Irish victory, long a dream of fans across the nation, holds the promise of uniting the country in a wave of celebration and joy.” 

The 2023 Rugby World Cup will take place in France from September 8 to October 28.