2009 was the year of the Irish as they finally won the Grand Slam for the first time in decades to claim Six Nations glory. Ireland proved they were the best team on show then but couldn't back it up last year but will be looking to build on that success in 2014 by claiming the Six Nations Championship once again.
Ireland are behind France, Wales and England in the latest betting as they go through a period of transition in search of a repeat of their 2009 Grand Slam triumph.
The squad for 2014 will appear here when it is announced but in the meantime you can have a look at Ireland's squad for 2013.....
Ireland coach Declan Kidney has announced a 39-man squad for the Six Nations, with Jamie Heaslip named captain.
Forwards: Rory Best (Ulster), Sean Cronin (Leinster), Richardt Strauss (Leinster), Michael Bent (Leinster), Tom Court (Ulster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Mike Ross (Leinster), David Kilcoyne (Munster), Declan Fitzpatrick (Ulster), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Mike McCarthy (Connacht), Donncha O'Callaghan (Munster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Lewis Stevenson (Exeter), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), Sean O'Brien (Leinster), Peter O'Mahony (Munster), Chris Henry (Munster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster)
Backs: Isaac Boss (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Eoin Reddan (Leinster), Paul Marshall (Ulster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Ronan O'Geara (Munster), Paddy Jackson (Ulster), Gordon D'Arcy (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), Darren Cave (Ulster), Brian O'Driscoll (Leinster), Dave McSharry (Ulster), Simon Zebo (Munster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Craig Gilroy (Ulster), Fergus McFadden (Leinster), Luke Fitzgerald (Leinster), Ian Madigan (Leinster), Rob Kearney (Leinster), Rob Henshaw (Connacht).
|2nd Feb||Ireland||3.00pm||Scotland||Preview||Aviva Stadium|
|8th Feb||Ireland||2.30pm||Wales||Preview||Aviva Stadium|
|8th Mar||Ireland||2.30pm||Italy||Preview||Aviva Stadium|
|15th Mar||France||5.00pm||Ireland||Preview||Stade de France|
Click on fixtures to get the match previews.
|Team||Pld||W||D||L||PTS F||PTS A||PTS|
The emergence of the European Cup has definitely benefited the Irish game as it has allowed the game in Ireland to focus on provincial teams rather than club teams and this has improved the standard. Both Leinster and Munster have proved hugely successful on the European scene and they provide the majority of the National team.
The likes of Tony O’Reilly hung up his shoes to make his name in the business field and Irelands best known rugby entrepreneur.
The Irish Rugby Football Union was formed in 1874 and they played their first international against England at the Oval in London on February 15, 1875. In total Ireland have won 11 Five/Six Nations titles outright and shared eight. They have won nine Triple Crowns.
Top Irish players include Mike Gibson, Willie John McBride, Tony O'Reilly, Keith Woods, Fergus Slattery, Ollie Campbell, Tom Keirnan and recent superstars Brian O'Driscoll and Ronan O'Gara.
Check the latest team news at each of our dedicated team pages: