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Live Reporting

Brendon Mitchell

All times stated are UK

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  1. Ireland begin with a win

    ireland canada FT graphic

    That concludes our coverage of Ireland's victory over Canada - but, fear not, we're still only halfway through the day's Rugby World Cup action!

    Our live text commentary of South Africa v Japan is already under way, and you can follow it by clicking here.

  2. Ireland 50-7 Canada

    The territory and possession stats weren't nearly as dominant for Ireland in the second half - perhaps as a result of the stream of replacements who entered the field?

    Ireland's schedule steadily builds up to the crunch with France though, and Joe Schmidt will be pleased to have given so many players a taste of the World Cup.

    ire canada FT
  3. 'Great display'

    Ireland 50-7 Canada

    One Direction's Niall Horan writes on Twitter.

  4. Ireland 50-7 Canada

    So Ireland, for now, head to the top of Pool D. All eyes will be on France v Italy at Twickenham later in what could prove to be a crucial tie in terms of who finishes where in the group.

    As I mentioned earlier, the pool runner-up is likely to face New Zealand in the quarter-finals. Best avoided, I'm sure you'd agree.

  5. Post update

    Quote Message: Canada played some great rugby in early parts of game but once we had settled down we handled the ball well and played some good rugby. "We want to cut down on errors and not turn over the ball.We had a period after half-time when it was a bit shaky but we got back into our rhythm again. from Ireland captain Paul O'Connell, on Radio 5 live extra
    Ireland captain Paul O'Connell, on Radio 5 live extra
  6. 'A great win'

    Ireland 50-7 Canada

    Former Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman is a happy man...

  7. Ireland 50-7 Canada

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "There is lots of room for improvement, the last play sums up Ireland for me, New Zealand would score a try there but Ireland don't quite get it right. The precision was not quite there and has not been there this season. 

    "The question in the bigger games will be can Ireland score when they only get a few opportunities in a match.

    "There are plenty of positives but it is about cutting out errors, they are not 100% yet, they need to get there but happy to get through game without injuries and win the bonus point."

  8. Ireland 50-7 Canada

  9. Full-time

    Ireland 50-7 Canada

    So that will be that. Ireland kick-off their 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign with an emphatic bonus-point victory over Canada.

    The perfect start for Joe Schmidt's side.

    Irish fan
  10. No try - Henderson

    Ireland 50-7 Canada

    And the TMO decides that the ball was knocked-on in the passage of play prior to Iain Henderson touching down. No try.

  11. Try - Henderson

    Ireland 55-7 Canada

    As Ireland ruthlessly pour forward for one last time, Iain Henderson bundles his way over from close range.

    Referee Glen Jackson initially awards the try, but we're now heading upstairs to the television match official instead...

  12. Post update

    David Humphreys

    Former Ireland fly-half on BBC Radio Ulster

    "There has been a lot of speculation about what Jared Payne's best position is.

    "Nobody could have replaced Brian O'Driscoll, but Jared has shown he has all the attributes to be a top-class 13."

    Jared Payne
  13. Man of the Match - Sexton

    Ireland 50-7 Canada

    As we march towards the final 60 seconds, Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton is announced as man of the match.

  14. 'Big disparity between the sides'

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Canada look ragged now, they have given what they can, They will take heart from large parts of the game, They were magnificent for the first 25 minutes of the second half. But their fitness is behind the top tier teams, because they will not be playing this intense level of rugby week in week out.

    "You always get these type of results and upsets are becoming increasingly impossible in rugby with the disparity between professional and non professionals."

  15. Ireland 50-7 Canada

    Canada definitely aren't going to leave the Millennium Stadium thinking 'What if?'

    Once more they try to run the ball from inside their own half, with no hint of damage limitation, and even win a penalty. To touch they go.

    Canada fan
  16. Try - Payne, con Madigan

    Ireland 50-7 Canada

    And tees up centre Jared Payne for another straightforward finish.

    Ian Madigan, who has been impressive since replacing Johnny Sexton at fly-half, adds the extras and brings up Ireland's half-century.

  17. Ireland 43-7 Canada

    A little harsh on Canada after a spirited second-half display? Perhaps.

    Ireland come forward through Ian Madigan, who breaks the first tackle...

  18. Post update

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Good way for Ireland to finish great breakaway try and inch perfect inside pass from Keith Earl to Rob Kearney."

  19. Try - Rob Kearney, con Madigan

    Ireland 43-7 Canada

    And in the blink of an eye Ireland cross at the other end. Keith Earls did the hard yards down the left, before switching it inside to the supporting Rob Kearney, who crosses from close range.

    That's the 29-year-old's first try in 11 Tests for Ireland - and it's converted easily by Ian Madigan.

  20. Ireland 36-7 Canada

    The Canadians seem to buoyed by that DTH van der Merwe score and have the ball inside Ireland's 22.

    It's excellently stolen by Sean Cronin though, and Ireland are breaking at speed...

  21. Terrific stuff from DTH

    Ireland 36-7 Canada

    When your side is being thumped, these stats from Canada winger DTH Van Der Merwe are pretty impressive: one try; 137 metres made; four defenders beaten; three clean breaks; two turnovers won; and six tackles.

    DTH Van Der Merwe
  22. Post update

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Van der Merve has really hassled the Irish defence today. It is no less than what Canada deserve from this game. I have been impressed by large parts of their game, they lack structure but their commitment has been excellent."

  23. Post update

    David Humphreys

    Former Ireland fly-half on BBC Radio Ulster

    "You have to give Canada credit for the way they have approached the second half. They still have energy and are working hard."

  24. Try - Van der Merwe, con Hirayama

    Ireland 36-7 Canada

    There's no doubting that  DTH van der Merwe has been Canada's best player here this afternoon - and it's hard to begrudge him a superbly taken try, grabbing a Jared Payne kick and then racing over in the corner from around 30 metres.

    Nathan Hirayama converts, meaning Sean Cronin's try is immediately cancelled out.

  25. Post update

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Cruel and clinical counter punch from Ireland, defend from their line and get up and score. I get the sense it could be the end of Canada, this is beyond them."

    John Moonlight
  26. Trend-setter?

    Ireland 36-0 Canada

  27. Try - Cronin, con Madigan

    Ireland 36-0 Canada

    And it leads to Ireland's fifth try! After the initial shove, replacement Sean Cronin is at the heart of a second Irish wave and forces his way over underneath the posts.

    Ian Madigan's conversion is good, and Ireland are 36-0 ahead.

    Sean Cronin scores Ireland's fifth try under the posts
    Image caption: Sean Cronin scores Ireland's fifth try under the posts
  28. Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Ian Madigan heads for touch then, and Ireland's rolling maul following the line-out is looking absolutely mighty here...

  29. Ireland 29-0 Canada

    But it all amounts to nothing for the Canadians as Djustice Sears-Duru infringes on the floor.

    It's certainly worth pointing out that Ireland have failed to trouble the scorers in the 25 minutes we've seen since the break, which is of full credit to Canada, ranked a lowly 18th in the world.

    Luke Fitzgerald
  30. Ireland 29-0 Canada

    For a very brief moment Canada, on the attack now, think they may have scored as Jebb Sinclair crosses in the corner after Nathan Hirayama's little grubber - but he was miles in front of the fly-half so it won't count.

    They were playing with an advantage, at least, so we'll come back for a Canada penalty anyway.

    Chris Henry, meanwhile, replaces try-scorer Sean O'Brien in Ireland's back row.

  31. Ireland 29-0 Canada

    You can't knock Canada's ambition, attempting to throw a quick line-out deep inside their own half and with green shirts everywhere. They win a penalty in the aftermath too, which is sent spiralling out of play on halfway.

    Three more Irish substitutions to tell you about too, as Sean Cronin, Cian Healy and Nathan White are introduced.

    A notable return for Healy, who hasn't played since Leinster’s Champions Cup semi-final defeat by Toulon in April because of injury.

  32. Ireland 29-0 Canada

    It's almost the perfect introduction for Ian Madigan too, but his attempted cross-field kick drifts just beyond Keith Earls and out of play. Unlucky.

  33. Post update

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "That was a try in the making, Canada were scrambling. Keith Earls took his eye of the ball at the last second. Canada breathe a sigh of relief and they are breathing heavily.

    "Good substitution by Ireland. Johnny Sexton has been at the heart of everything, he has orchestrated the play and kicked well. Ian Madigan has a lot to prove and needs game time at 10."

    Johny Sexton
  34. Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Ireland are up to the five-metre line again, trying to smash a way through that Canadian door. But Keith Earls wastes a terrific opportunity to spread the play wide, knocking on under no pressure whatsoever.

    All the while, Ian Madigan replaced Johnny Sexton at fly-half. Sexton leaves the field to a rapturous reception.

  35. Canada cannot capitalise

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Canada couldn't make Paul O'Connell's absence count on the scoreboard but it did at least help to even things up in terms of possession and territory for the first 10 minutes of the half.

    Ireland canada with POC off
  36. A target for Sexton

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Johnny Sexton's kicking from hand has been superb so far in this match, as he sends another beauty into the corner.

    Ireland steal the line-out too but, with Paul O'Connell back on the field again, they are unable to find a way over in the corner through hooker Rory Best.

  37. Post update

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "What Ireland were trying to do is wear Canada down but with Paul O'Connell coming back you on might see a change in tactics from Ireland."

  38. Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Former Saracens wing DTH van der Merwe has certainly caught the eye for Canada this afternoon, this time beating the tackle of Conor Murray to make some metres over halfway.

    But he runs out of room on the far side of the field, handing Ireland a line-out and an opportunity to build something of their own.

    DTH Van Der Merwe
  39. Set piece perfection

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Ireland's cruise in this opening game is built on doing the basics well, with all five scrums and all five line-outs won. It doesn't look flashy but you know coach Joe Schmidt is delighted with this set-piece solidity.

    ireland canada set piece
  40. Listen live

    You can listen livehere.

  41. Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Canada opt to head to the replacements bench early in this second half, with Djustice Sears-Duru, Jebb Sinclair and Phil Mack all introduced.

    Paul O'Connell, remember, is still in the bin for Ireland - but still their numerical disadvantage has yet to be reflected on the scoreboard.

  42. Ireland 29-0 Canada

    This has opened right up since the break as Canada try to force the issue. Just as they look to do some serious damage, however, another handling error creeps in and hands the initiative back to Ireland.

    An exhaustive passage of play is at last brought to an end when Johnny Sexton kicks to touch - unfortunately for Ireland and frustratingly for Sexton, on the full.

    Nick Blevins
  43. Post update

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on Radio 5 live extra

    "Ireland look a bit ragged, Canada are sticking it to them, they are in the ascendancy a bit."

  44. Post update

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Maggie Alphonsi, a member of the England side that won the Women's World Cup in 2014, is watching on.

  45. Post update

  46. Ireland packing a punch

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Former featherweight world champion boxer Barry McGuigan is impressed.

  47. Post update

    John Haughey

    BBC Sport NI at the Millennium Stadium

    "Mission accomplished so far for Ireland after a composed and ruthless first-half display with a bonus point already secured.

    "Johnny Sexton's return to form will have delighted Ireland coach Joe Schmidt. "Expect the fly-half and a few other key Ireland players to be hauled off early in the second half."

  48. Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Ireland survive the storm though and, even with a man less, try to play their way out of their own half.

    But another penalty, this time for playing the ball on the ground, gives Canada a second opportunity to head for touch.

  49. Sin-bin - O'Connell

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    They've started well, have the Canadians! They're deep inside Irish territory, and have themselves a penalty on halfway too, given away by Ireland captain Paul O'Connell.

    The 105-cap lock is sent to the sin bin too. Not how Joe Schmidt will have planned the opening moments of the second period.

    Canada fans
  50. Kick-off

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Right then, what can Canada muster in this second period? Fly-half Nathan Hirayama gets us moving again.

  51. The half-time story

    Ireland Canada half time graphic
  52. Post update

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Strictly Come Dancing's Brendan Cole is enjoying the performance.

  53. Get Involved via #bbcrugby

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    We asked you before kick-off how you thought Ireland would do at this World Cup, and 42% of you, the winning vote, think they'll reach the semi-finals for the first time.

    Has what you've seen in the opening 40 minutes done much to change your mind? Let us know via #bbcrugby on Twitter.

    Johny Sexton
  54. Gutsy Gilmour

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Canada had a lot of tackles to make in that half and Kyle Gilmour topped the count with 11, and no misses. Lock Brett Beukeboom and prop Hubert Buydens made nine each.

  55. Canadian frustration

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Canadian tight-head prop Jason Marshall, who misses the World Cup because of a rib injury, writes on Twitter that he is encouraged by his side's performance.

  56. Post update

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "That is a blow to Canada, they did not deserve to go in at half-time with no points. They defended heroically, especially with 14 men, and worked Ireland in that last passage of play.

    "For Ireland that was a bit of a jolt before half-time but they will be happy they managed to keep Canada out. 

    "Ireland overall will be happy how they are playing - they're scoring tries and have kept Canada out."

  57. Half-time

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    And with that comes Glen Jackson's half-time whistle.

    It's been a business-like 40 minutes from Ireland, who lead by 29 points and have a bonus point secured at the interval.

    Johny Sexton
  58. No try - Van der Merwe

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Unlucky for Canada, as it's adjudged that the final pass to wing DTH van der Merwe edged forward, leading to a handful of boos ringing around the Millennium Stadium.

    DTH van der Merwe was denied a try for Canada
  59. Post update

    England World Cup winner Lewis Moody is a big fan of Ireland's Iain Henderson.

  60. Kearneys on form

    Dave Kearney might have scored the try but it is brother Rob who has been Ireland's most potent attacking weapon so far, with 52 metres made from an energetic 12 carries.

  61. Post update

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

  62. Try review - Van der Merwe

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    It looks like they have! But was there a forward pass in the middle that move? We're heading to the television match official...

  63. Ireland 29-0 Canada

    Canada look to be ending the half with ball in hand, though, as they move up to the Irish 22. Now, a terrific break from Glasgow's DTH van der Merwe has the men in red up to the five-metre line. Can they force their way over?...

  64. Canada's problems

    The story of the half after 35 minutes - the action areas show where Canada's problems lie.

    ireland canada action areas
  65. Ireland 29-0 Canada

    In terms of that bonus point, it may prove significant as Ireland bid to finish top of their pool - in the process, in all likelihood, avoiding a quarter-final tie against New Zealand.

    A rare error from centre Jared Payne as he skews a kick straight out of play.

  66. Post update

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "That is a well worked try which has come from a pre-planned move. They had forward Sean O'Brien on the left flank which gave them an extra man and stretched the Canada defence. The play then comes back the right hand side and the Canadian defence has run out of numbers."

    Irish try
  67. Try - Dave Kearney, con Sexton

    Ireland 29-0 Canada

    But, like a switch, Ireland turn it on again, whizzing the ball from right to left, leaving Dave Kearney - along with two unmarked team-mates - in all kinds of space out wide, and with the simple tasking of cutting inside and crossing.

    Johnny Sexton's conversion is good and Ireland have the bonus point wrapped up inside the opening 35 minutes.

    Dave Kearney scores Ireland's fourth try of the first half.
    Image caption: Dave Kearney dives over the line to score Ireland's fourth try of the first half against Canada.
  68. Ireland 22-0 Canada

    Some brief respite for Canada, as Paul O'Connell's knock-on gives them the put-in at a scrum just inside their own half.

    Flanker Kyle Gilmour is in the thick of things as they move into enemy territory - a place they've not been too many times since the opening five or ten minutes.

    Ireland's defence, however, holds firm.

  69. Post update

    Former Ireland fly-half David Humphreys on BBC Radio Ulster:

    "Johnny Sexton looks right back to his best form today. That was a tremendous try and I don't think he'll stay on the pitch too long in this game. Joe Schmidt will have seen enough."

  70. Ireland's dominance

    The ruck map from the opening half hour shows Ireland - playing from the left - in total control. Their white diamonds illustrate how often they have recycled the ball successfully in the Canada half.

    Ireland canada
  71. 'Great play by Sexton'

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Great fly-half play by Johnny Sexton, often a number 10 will play the ball and stop and get into position but he passed and followed and stayed on the inside and scored. Great individual play by him and he showed some pace as the Canadian back three are no slouches.

    "The problem for Canada is they have not had the ball, it is difficult to play like that and since the first two or three minutes it has been all Ireland and that wears a  team down."

  72. Try - Sexton, missed con Sexton

    Ireland 22-0 Canada

    The TMO is happy, and so are the vast majority of the fans packed inside the stadium, as Johnny Sexton's break down the left is rewarded with another five points into the corner.

    The 30-year-old can't land the conversion, but you can't imagine he'll be too disappointed - Ireland continue to boss matters in the Welsh capital.

  73. Try review - Sexton

    Ireland 17-0 Canada

    It looks like Johnny Sexton has scored Ireland's third try - but we're heading to the television match official to double check the grounding.

  74. Ireland 17-0 Canada

    Johnny Sexton is in the middle of everything Ireland do in attack, and his superb touch-finder has Canada penned in once more.

    Now, they manage to half-clear it, but here Ireland come again, in full flow...

    Johny Sexton
  75. Post update

    Ireland 17-0 Canada

    Former Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman is not too impressed with the Canadians.

  76. Irish ruck to form

    We know Ireland have been strong at the breakdown in the past few years and their all-star back-row has started this Rugby World Cup in fine form with 33 rucks won in the first 20 minutes of their opening game - with only one turned over by Canada. In contrast, they turned Canada twice from their 15 rucks.

  77. Try - Henderson, con Sexton

    Ireland 17-0 Canada

    They certainly do, all the while setting the platform for lock Iain Henderson to barge his way over from close range for his first international touchdown.

    Johnny Sexton again lands the conversion and Ireland are in charge at the Millennium Stadium.

  78. Ireland 10-0 Canada

    Conor Murray has the put-in at the scrum, five metres from the Canadian line. Will we see another big shove from the Irish pack...?

  79. Post update

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Great scrambled defence by Canada to stop Paul O'Connell but they are having to tackle twice as much as Ireland and no team can continue to do that much tackling without shipping points."

    Mike Ross
  80. Ireland 10-0 Canada

    Another Irish wave comes forward, with Keith Earls bouncing his way past a couple of Canadian tacklers.

    Now, captain Paul O'Connell may well have forced his way over, but did he get the ball down? Referee Glen Jackson decides he hadn't. Unlucky.

  81. Post update

    Ireland 10-0 Canada

  82. Ireland 10-0 Canada

    After a decent enough start from the men in red, Ireland have quickly taken control following the sin-binning of Canada captain Jamie Cudmore, who still has over five minutes remaining on the sidelines.

    Conor Murray has the put-in at a scrum just inside opposition territory.

  83. Listen now - press speaker icon at top of this page

    Ireland 10-0 Canada

    BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

  84. Post update

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "Poor leadership from Cudmore that gives Ireland an advantage. The try shows what a foolish bit of play that was. You can lay the blame at his feet. Ireland were in a strong attacking position and he give away a penalty and a man advantage."

  85. Try - O'Brien, con Sexton

    Ireland 10-0 Canada

    Yes, they most certainly can. After secure line-out ball, Ireland promptly get the rolling maul moving at pace towards the Canada try line - and it's Sean O'Brien, for his sixth international try, who has the honour of touching down beneath a pile of bodies.

    Johnny Sexton converts, Ireland lead by 10.

  86. Sin-bin - Cudmore

    Ireland 3-0 Canada

    That's not Canada captain Jamie Cudmore's finest moment, blatantly infringing at the base of a ruck right on his own try line, and getting sent to the sin as a result. Can Ireland make this count?

  87. Canada's early grit

    Ireland dominated the first 15 minutes with nearly 70% of possession and with the majority of the game played in Canada's half - but the North American side conceded only a penalty thanks to a flawless tackle count.

  88. Post update

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "It is important for Ireland that every time they get into the 22, you come away with something, that is how you build a lead and win a game."

    Conor Murray
  89. Ireland 3-0 Canada

    So Ireland are on the board, but can they find a way beyond this Canadian defence for a first try?

    If they do, and you're out and about, it's worth reminding you that you can now receive try alerts via the BBC Sport app.

    Click here to find out how.

  90. Penalty - Sexton

    Ireland 3-0 Canada

    Johnny Sexton successfully lands the simplest of kicks, from almost directly right in front of the posts, and so Ireland lead with 14 minutes gone.

    Johny Sexton
  91. Ireland 0-0 Canada

    The green wave is up to the five-metre line and, with an advantage in their pocket, they attempt to switch it wide - but it drifts out.

    Back we come, and Johnny Sexton will go for the posts...

  92. Get involved


  93. Ireland 0-0 Canada

    That's super play from Johnny Sexton, heavily involved in the opening stages here. Ireland move the ball out towards halfway, and the Leinster-bound fly-half kicks beautifully for touch.

    The throw from Canada hooker Ray Barkwill isn't straight either, so the Irish are on the attack...

  94. Missed penalty - McRorie

    Ireland 0-0 Canada

    Rather optimistically, Canada scrum-half Gordon McRorie decides to have a go at goal here, fully 50 metres out.

    And, perhaps unsurprisingly, it drifts short.

  95. Ireland 0-0 Canada

    Ireland spot another gap down Canada's right, but Johnny Sexton just overcooks the pass to Dave Kearney ever so slightly and it drifts into touch.

    In the aftermath, Jamie Heaslip is penalised for not rolling away at the base of a ruck and Canada have a penalty.

  96. 'Good start by Canada'

    Denis Hickie

    Former Ireland winger on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    "A good start from Canada, their players look organised and show willingness to use the ball. Ireland need to work on their defence - in the warm-up games they missed 80 tackles and conceded nine tries - more than they did in the entire Six Nations.

    "They need to stop Ireland at source to make it harder for them to get into the game and unsettle them."

    Luke Fitzgerald
  97. Ireland 0-0 Canada

    It's a huge shove from the Irish pack too, and already they're into Canadian territory. They work through the phases, with scrum-half Conor Murray heavily involved, but, so far at least, the men in red make their tackles.

  98. Ireland 0-0 Canada

    All the pressure and expectations will be placed upon Ireland here, but it's Canada who catch the eye first, as Nick Blevins offloads cleverly down the right - but it was forward and it'll be Ireland's put-in at the scrum.

  99. Kick-off

    Ireland 0-0 Canada

    Right then, time for the day's second game. Kiwi referee Glen Jackson, officiating his first Rugby World Cup match, gets us under way.

    Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton kicks long, Canada number 10 Nathan Hirayama returns.

    Johny Sexton kick
  100. Post update

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

    Former Ireland fly-half David Humphreys on BBC Radio Ulster:

    "Ireland's performances over the last couple of matches haven't been what you would expect. It's important that they show a huge improvement today and that they produce the elements which have made them such a good side. 

    "They need to show a physical intensity again and cut out the mistakes that have affected them in recent games. "Performance is important and I think Ireland will win by 50 points. Canada will be physical early on but I think you will see a huge gulf in class today."

    Ireland fan
  101. BBC coverage

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

    A quick reminder that you can listen to this match on both BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC Radio Ulster by clicking the 'Live Coverage' tab at the top of the page.

  102. Here come the teams...

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

    The Millennium Stadium, as it always does on these occasions, sounds absolutely magnificent as the teams emerge.

    Ireland, led out by captain Paul O'Connell, are in their familiar green, while Canada are kitted out in red.

    Time for some anthems.

  103. Canada at the World Cup

    Canada v New Zealand in 1991

    So what do we know about Ireland's opponents Canada?

    Canada's best result at the World Cup was reaching the quarter-finals in 1991, where they lost to New Zealand.

    In 2011 they beat Tonga in their opening group match but drew with Japanand lost to France and New  Zealand.

    Their record reads:

    Played 25 Won 7 Lost 16 Draws 2.

  104. Vote now

    So Ireland have never made it past the quarter-finals of a World Cup, but how will they get on this year? Now is your chance to have your say and vote on their chances.

    Our vote is open now and will be until 15:10 BST. Results will be announced later on.

  105. Ireland at the World Cup

    Brian O'Driscoll

    Ireland have reached the quarter-finals six times in eight World Cups.

    In 2011 they lost 22-10 to Wales in Wellington, New Zealand.

    Their record reads: 

    Played 30 Won 17 Lost 13

  106. Post update

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

    It isn't a big tournament without a message of support from a famous person. One Direction's Niall Horan has posted the following message of support to the Ireland team.

  107. A good start is expected

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

  108. Ireland ready to go

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

    John Haughey

    BBC Sport at the Millennium Stadium

    "And so the World Cup is about to begin for Ireland.

    "After losing their final two warm-up games against England, the Irish will be looking for a confidence-boosting win over the 18th-ranked Canadians.

    "Despite their recent struggles, many pundits are tipping Ireland to reach the uncharted territory of a World Cup semi-final place.

    "Joe Schmidt's side will look for a big win today to build confidence ahead of the tougher Group D tests against Italy and France."

  109. Post update

  110. The support is inspirational - Schmidt

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

    Ireland coach  Joe Schmidt has just been talking to ITV Sport. He says: "This game has been a long time coming. It is inspirational seeing the level of support coming into the stadium but it will be about keeping calm before this game.

    "We think our defence has been a little less than we normally expect. In the last two Six Nations we have conceded seven tries but we've conceded too many recently. Hopefully we will improve defensively.

    "We have been focused on trying to get a positive start to the game. We saw last night that form goes out of the window and it's about just performing."

  111. Listen live

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

    BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

  112. Line-ups

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

    Canada team

    Replacements: Benoit Piffero, Djustice Sears-Duru, Andrew Tiedemann, Jebb Sinclair, Richard Thorpe, Phil Mack, Liam Underwood, Conor Trainor.

  113. Line-ups - Ireland

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

    Ireland team

    Replacements: Sean Cronin, Cian Healy, Nathan White, Donnacha Ryan, Chris Henry, Eoin Reddan, Ian Madigan, Simon Zebo.

  114. Team news

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

    Lock Jamie Cudmore will appear in a country record-equalling fourth World Cup when he leads out Canada this afternoon.

    He skippers the side in the absence of Tyler Ardron.

    And a contender for stat of the day - the average age of Canada's starting XV is 29 years and 164 days old, their oldest ever in a World cup match.

  115. Team news

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

    Robbie Henshaw

    Ireland's Robbie Henshaw has been ruled out of this afternoon's match in the Welsh capital with a hamstring strain, so Luke Fitzgerald is named at inside centre.

    Iain Henderson's recent impressive form has been rewarded by coach Joe Schmidt with a starting berth alongside captain Paul O'Connell in the second row.

    And prop Cian Healy is set to make his return from injury off the bench as Jack McGrath starts in the front row.

  116. Get Involved via #bbcrugby

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

    As always we want your thoughts before, during and after the match. How do you see this one going? Which players are going to be vital? which battles are you looking forward to? How far do we reckon Ireland can go?  

    Don't be shy, tell us your views and we will post the best messages on this page throughout the match. You can contact us on Twitter, using #bbcrugby or leave a message on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  117. Pool D

    Ireland v Canada (14:30 BST)

    So we've seen England begin their campaign with a 35-11 win over Fiji at Twickenham and underdogs Georgia have just gained their first World Cup win with a 17-10 success against Tonga.

    But now it is our first Pool D action, a section that also includes France,Italy and Romania.

    The top two will then go on to meet the top two from Pool C in the quarter-finals.

    And, with New Zealand quite likely to win that particular group, the Irish would do well to avoid having to settle for the runner-up spot in their pool.

    Ireland v Canada
  118. The momentum stops

    A month ago, of course, the answer would've been a resounding yes. But a wobbly 16-10 defeat at home by Wales on 29 August slowed momentum...

    Ireland v Wales

    Before a disappointing 21-13 loss to England at Twickenham just seven days later brought it to a grinding halt.

    England v Ireland

    So, what next for Joe Schmidt's men? Welcome to our coverage of Ireland's World Cup opener against Canada.

  119. Everything going for Ireland?

    Back-to-back Six Nations titles, a coach boasting a mighty 78% win ratio heading into the summer warm-up games and all their key men, including talismanic captain Paul O'Connell, somewhere near full fitness.

    Ireland have it all going for them, don't they?

    Paul O'Connell