The Island of Ireland is represented by the Ireland National Rugby Union Team. It represents both, the Republic of Ireland, as well as the Northern Ireland belonging to the rugby union.
The Ireland rugby team competes every year in the 6 national championships. They also compete once in every 4 years in the Rugby World Cup.
In the former, they have been clear winners eleven times, and have shared the title in eight matches. In the latter, i.e. the Rugby World Cup, the team has been able to reach the quarter finals in all excepting two matches. Apart from the World Cup and the Six Nations Championship, Ireland is also one of the four unions that are a part of the British and Irish Lions. The players who are eligible to play for team Ireland will also qualify to play for the Lions. From the Ireland rugby team, eight of them (former players) have achieved induction into the International Rugby Hall of Fame, and five of them have also achieved induction into the IRB Hall of Fame.
Brian O’Driscoll, who was the former captain and outside centre of the Ireland rugby team, is still an all time leader in tries. He is considered to be one of the best players of rugby in the world. He also led the team to the second Grand Slam in the year 2009, March. Brian O’Driscoll also carried out the captaincy for the Lions in the year 2005, in the tour of New Zealand. However, unfortunately, his captaincy on field had to be cut short during the tour because of a controversial injury, which occurred in the first test of the Lions. The 2009, Lions captaincy was taken over by Paul O’Connell for the tour of South Africa.
The highest position achieved by Ireland rugby team in the IRB World Rankings till now is third which they had achieved in the year 2003 and 2006.