Rory Best urges Ireland to prove a point in World Cup opener against Scotland
Ireland captain Rory Best has called on his side to show that they are ready to take on the world against Scotland tomorrow (8.45am).
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The opening fixture of their 2019 World Cup comes on the back on months of preparation, with Best even admitting previously that the Six Nations earlier this year had to take something of a backseat.
With Scotland first up there is no time to ease themselves into the competition and Best has said it will be the "acid test" of where the number one ranked team in the world really stands.
"We've geared ourselves up", he said. "We knew what the potential conditions would be and we're in a good place for that but the acid test will be Sunday. Ultimately when you get to the game and the pressure with that, it will be about making sure that you can stay focused on what you need to do. "
Ireland have lost three of their most experienced backs since landing in Japan with Keith Earls, Robbie Henshaw and Rob Kearney all having been ruled out despite playing some part in training during the week.
Best, however, doesn't think there will be an issue with eight players getting their first taste of a World Cup.
"This squad has got a lot of depth," he said. "It's a reasonably young squad but they still have a lot of caps when you look down the list. There are even people in there which surprise you with the number of the caps they have.
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"Ultimately, when you get to a World Cup, you need players peaking at the right time and in form but a little bit of experience counts for a lot as well.
"We've got that and a bit of youth as well and I think people are just excited."
Elsewhere in Ireland's pool, Japan kicked off the tournament with a 30-10 win over Russia in Tokyo.