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Busy night anticipated for Ireland trio

THE first World Cup quarter-final will see two of the tournament's form teams in Ireland and Wales collide at the Wellington Regional Stadium.

Here, the Evening Herald examines three key battles that will help determine the outcome.


Healy's scrummaging in New Zealand has been impressive but he may have met his match in Jones, who is rarely bettered at the set piece. Healy is more dynamic in the loose and has been in outstanding form, but Jones is a seasoned campaigner and the cornerstone of the Welsh pack.

Sean O'Brien v Sam Warburton

This potentially epic showdown between two of the game's outstanding flankers is a contrast of styles. There are few more destructive ball carriers than O'Brien, while Warburton is a fetcher who is brilliant on the floor. Both players are hugely influential and would look at home in a world XV.

Ronan O'Gara v Rhys Priestland

Separated by 10 years and more than 100 caps, O'Gara and Priestland are at opposite ends of the spectrum in experience. O'Gara has reclaimed his position as Ireland's No10 and has been kicking brilliantly. Priestland has helped bring out the best in Jamie Roberts.