Shane Lowry interrupts Kiwi journalist after himself and McIlroy asked about Ireland's chances at Rugby World Cup 10 months ago

Shane Lowry interrupts Kiwi journalist after himself and McIlroy asked about Ireland's chances at Rugby World Cup

Rory McIlroy is pretty confident in Ireland's chances at the Rugby World Cup. Shane Lowry, meanwhile, is cock-of-the-walk.

It's Augusta Thursday and in their pre-round press conference, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry were both asked for their thoughts on the Irish rugby team's chances at the 2023 World Cup.

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Ireland are the World number one ranked team heading into the tournament, which takes place in Paris in September, though many fans of an Irish persuasion aren't getting too carried away.

Our under-performance in World Cups gone-by explains the scepticism, while a tough quarter-final path has also served to dampen expectations.

KOHLER, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 23: Shane Lowry of Ireland and team Europe and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and team Europe laugh during practice rounds prior to the 43rd Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits on September 23, 2021 in Kohler, Wisconsin. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
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In that sense, McIlroy was level in his response when asked by a New Zealand journalist about the team's chances.

"I just hope we haven't peaked too soon," said the 33-year-old from County Down.

"That's my response. I'm pretty confident. I think they're in as good a place as I ever have (seen) going into a World Cup.

"New Zealand-France, that first game is going to be massive just to set the tone to see what happens the rest of the tournament. I think all Irish fans are as confident as we've ever been going into a World Cup.

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"Fingers crossed," he added.

When asked the same question, Shane Lowry was much more forthright in his views.

"There's no question, we are going to win the World Cup," he said.

The Offaly man is a rugby fan and attended Ireland's games against Japan and New Zealand at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. McIlroy, meanwhile, has appeared at Ulster games in recent years.

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