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The Year of the Irish - Ireland was named "Team of the Year" by World Rugby, after having achieved an 11-1 record in 2018. The wins included a Six Nations title with also a Grand Slam (beating the other five nations), two victories away on tour in Australia, and, finally, a decisive win at home against the All Blacks in November.

Ireland amassed 370 points versus only 184 against, or a 31-point per game average opposed to 15 points per game for opponents.

The Six Nations title was Ireland's third in five years. The Grand Slam was their first since 2009.

The results chronologically:

Ireland 35 - France 13

Ireland 56 - Italy 19

Ireland 37 - Wales 27

Ireland 28 - Scotland 8

Ireland 24 - England 15

Ireland 9 - Australia 18 (Loss)

Ireland 26 - Australia 21

Ireland 20 - Australia 16

Ireland 54 - Italy 7

Ireland 28 - Argentina 17

Ireland 16 - New Zealand 9

Ireland 57 - USA 14

Ireland finished second in World Rugby standings, a small percentage below the All Blacks.

Ireland will open their Six Nations title defense on February 2. 2019, at home against England.

Remember that Ireland have never advanced out of the quarterfinals of all prior Rugby World Cups.  In the RWC 2019, they compete in Pool A, and will play Scotland, host Japan, Russia, and Samoa.