2023 Rugby World Cup
Hosts: France Dates: 8 September to 28 October
Coverage: Full commentary of every game across BBC Radio 5 Live and Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, plus text updates on the BBC Sport website and app.
With the Six Nations safely secured, the warm-ups done and the squad picked, Ireland have touched down in France as they begin their latest bid to end a near 40-year Rugby World Cup curse.
As the world's number one ranked side who come into the tournament on a 13-Test winning run, the Irish are considered genuine contenders to lift the Webb Ellis Cup on 28 October.
Words like 'contenders' have often been attached to Ireland at the World Cup, but while previous teams have never progressed beyond the quarter-finals, this is arguably one of the best and most settled squads the Irish have ever had.
Before Saturday's opener against Romania in Bordeaux, BBC Sport NI looks at Ireland's 18 forwards.
Heavily-tattooed loosehead Andrew Porter has become an integral cog in Andy Farrell's system. He was virtually ever-present during the Grand Slam campaign and starred in last year's Test series triumph over the All Blacks, scoring two tries in the 23-12 win in Dunedin. Originally a tighthead, the Dubliner has been rock-solid since switching sides in the scrum. His power will be a big asset for Ireland in France.
Nicknamed 'Killer', Dave Kilcoyne is one of the most experienced members of the squad, having made his debut against South Africa in 2012. Like Porter, Kilcoyne won his 50th Test cap in the epic Six Nations win over France in February. Has done well since returning from a bad neck injury last year which ruled him out of the Test series in New Zealand.
No stranger to the big stage, with six British and Irish Lions Test caps to his name, Tadhg Furlong has been a key figure for Ireland for the best part of a decade. A world-class prop, Furlong is crucial to Ireland's set-piece performance and his physical attributes will be valued when the Irish clash with a hugely powerful South Africa in Paris.
Australia-born tighthead Finlay Bealham didn't make the 2019 squad under Joe Schmidt but has since become a regular fixture in Farrell's front row, starting the first three games of this year's Grand Slam campaign before a knee injury ruled him out of the last two. Looks a natural successor to Furlong.
The youngest of Ireland's six props, Tom O'Toole made his debut two years ago and came off the bench in all five of this year's Six Nations matches. Has earned the trust of the coaches and will be pushing for starts in his first World Cup.
O'Toole may be the youngest, but Jeremy Loughman is the Irish prop with the lightest Test experience. A Munster stalwart of six years, Loughman won two of his three caps in the warm-up games and was included in Farrell's 33 following Cian Healy's injury.
Having overcome a foot injury, Farrell's first-choice hooker Dan Sheehan will be central to Ireland's chances in France. Despite only making his Test debut in the 2022 Six Nations, the Leinster favourite has shone in big games against the likes of New Zealand, South Africa and France. An efficient ball-carrier, Sheehan also has an eye for a try, evidenced by his double in the Grand Slam-sealing win over England.
Sheehan's club-mate and main rival for the number two jersey, Ronan Kelleher has been plagued by injury troubles over the last 18 months. While Sheehan has nailed down his place with a series of impressive displays, Kelleher - who trained with the Lions in 2021 - is an accomplished alternative should Farrell shuffle his pack.
An experienced and dependable operator, Rob Herring edged out Ulster club-mate Tom Stewart for the final hooker spot. The Cape Town-born 33-year-old has delivered try-scoring cameos off the bench against New Zealand and England, and was hugely effective when he replaced Stewart in the warm-up win over Samoa. Was called into the squad four years ago as injury cover for Sean Cronin but didn't play.
James Ryan has become an essential cog in the Irish juggernaut, having made his debut under Declan Kidney in 2012. Has been trusted with captaincy duties in Johnny Sexton's absence, most recently in the 29-10 victory over England. The Leinster lock started every game in Ireland's Grand Slam-winning campaign earlier this year, scoring tries against Wales and Italy along the way. One of Farrell's key on-field leaders.
While injury derailed Tadhg Beirne's Six Nations campaign, the Munster lock was key to Ireland's series win in New Zealand and the autumn internationals clean sweep against South Africa, Fiji and Australia. Beirne was on the bench for Ireland's 2019 pool games against Japan and Scotland, but he is expected to feature much more prominently in France.
A respected figure in the squad, Ulster captain Iain Henderson will play at his third World Cup after signing a new IRFU deal in June. Like Ryan, he can stand in for Sexton as captain, as he did against Italy last month. Injuries have been a problem for the two-time Lions tourist, but he remains a key senior figure in the set-up.
A deep-thinking lock, who has spoken about his interests outside of rugby in the build-up to the tournament, Ryan Baird has hugely impressive physical attributes and will be pushing for starts in France after starting the warm-ups against Italy and Samoa.
The youngest member of the squad, Joe McCarthy's debut came just 10 months ago in a brief appearance against Australia. Impressed on his first Test start against Italy. Has been talked up by Henderson and could come of age in France.
When your head coach jokes that he is "sick" of you getting man of the match awards, you must be doing something right. Caelan Doris has blossomed into a world-class number eight over the last three years. Shortlisted for Six Nations player of the tournament earlier this year. Set to have a big tournament.
The reigning World Rugby player of the year, Josh van der Flier is, like Doris, a nailed-on starter. Having modelled his game on All Blacks great Richie McCaw, the Leinster star has consistently delivered big moments in big games (he has scored tries against six of the nine teams directly below Ireland in the world rankings).
One of Ireland's hardened Test warriors, Peter O'Mahony will become his country's 10th centurion if he earns four caps in France. Still hugely effective after more than a decade on from his debut, as evidenced by his inclusion in this year's Six Nations team of the tournament.
Injuries have stunted his progress of late, and while Doris is now Farrell's preferred number eight, Jack Conan has undeniable elite-level pedigree, having started all three Tests in the Lions' 2021 tour of South Africa. Is hoping for World Cup redemption after injury ruined his tournament in Japan four years ago.