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Ireland in World Cup turmoil

 

By Jonathan Bradley

The supposed dream of a World Cup on home soil continues to be nightmarish for Ireland after a second straight defeat has left them battling to even qualify for the next tournament in four years' time.

They were convincingly beaten 36-24 by Australia in Belfast yesterday and will need to beat Wales on Saturday at the Kingspan to ensure their place for 2021.

"We need to be there," said try-scoring number 8 Paula Fitzpatrick. "We're a quality Six Nations side, even though we haven't played well here."

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