The Six Nations Grand Slam winners have more than justified their position in a stacked field of potential champions in France, as they look to end their quarter-final curse and put together a first serious crack at lifting the Webb Ellis Cup.
Pool B is set to be hotly contested with Ireland joined by reigning champions South Africa and Scotland in competing for the two available quarter-final spots.
Romania may refute any notion of being there to make up the numbers but, in reality, face a mammoth task to register a win against any of the big trio in their group, let alone qualify out of it for the first time.
No1-ranked Ireland’s fixture schedule has handed them a favourable start, with Tonga to come next, but it does mean that any slip-ups could be punished in the dearest way possible.
Date, kick-off time and venue
Ireland vs Romania takes place on Saturday September 9, 2023, with kick-off at 2:30pm BST.
The Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux will host the match.
Where to watch Ireland vs Romania
TV channel: In the UK, the game will be televised live on free-to-air channel ITV1, with coverage starting at 2pm.
Live stream: Fans will also be able to watch a free live stream of the game online via the ITVX website and app.
Ireland vs Romania team news
Retiring captain Johnny Sexton is back from his three-game ban to lead Ireland in his final World Cup campaign, having not played since March due to injury and suspension.
Elsewhere in the backs, Mack Hansen and Robbie Henshaw are replaced by Keith Earls and Garry Ringrose. Hansen was added to the replacements in place of Henshaw in a late change due to an injury precaution.
First-choice hooker Dan Sheehan is not fully fit after a foot injury so Rob Herring starts instead, with Leinster’s Joe McCarthy making only his second senior international start at lock.
Josh van der Flier is also only a substitute with Tadhg Beirne preferred in the back row.
Romania show three changes from the side that were thrashed 57-7 by Italy in their final warm-up Test, with plenty of moving around in the backline.
Florian Rosu replaces Damian Stratila in the back row, while New Zealand-born Hinckley Vaovasa and Gabriel Rupanu are the latest half-back pairing selected by head coach Eugen Apjok. Romania are captained by No8 Cristian Chirica.
Ireland vs Romania lineups
Ireland XV: Keenan; Earls, Ringrose, Aki, Lowe; Sexton (c), Gibson-Park; Porter, Herring, Furlong; McCarthy, Ryan; Beirne, O'Mahony, Doris
Replacements: Kelleher, Loughman, O'Toole, Henderson, Van der Flier, Murray, Crowley, Hansen
Romania XV: Simionescu; Onutu, Tangimana, Tomane, Manumua; Vaovasa, Rupanu; Harting, Cojocaru, Gordas; Motoc, Iancu; Rosu, Neculau, Chirica (c)
Replacements: Bardasu, Savin, Gajion, Iftimiciuc, Ser, Conache, Boldor, Gontineac
Ireland vs Romania prediction
It may be a little crass to call this an inevitable walkover for the Irish, but it simply has to be or else they’ll find themselves in deep, deep trouble to get out of the group.
Ireland to win, by over 30 points.
Head to head (h2h) history and results
Ireland have beaten Romania on each of their three previous World Cup meetings, scoring 44 points on two occasions and 45 on the other.
Ireland vs Romania latest odds
Betfair have stopped taking bets on Ireland winning this game, with Romania and the draw out at 50/1.