How to watch Ireland vs Tonga: live stream the Rugby World Cup 2023 match online, team news

 Ireland's Jamison Gibson-Park in the Rugby World Cup 2023 match against Romania
Ireland's Jamison Gibson-Park in the Rugby World Cup 2023 match against Romania

Ireland mean business at the Rugby World Cup 2023, but the world number one-ranked Test side are in no doubt they must improve yet further as they face Tonga on Saturday. The Pacific Islanders are packed with talent – including a few former Australia and New Zealand internationals – and no slip-ups can be tolerated in the Pool B, the tournament's so-called Group of Death. There's no way you should be missing this Ireland vs Tonga live stream.

The teams are with us and listed below for what promises to be a fascinating encounter...

IRELAND Hugo Keenan; Mack Hansen,Garry Ringrose, Bundee Aki, James Lowe; Johnny Sexton (captain), Conor Murray; Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher, Tadhg Furlong; Tadhg Beirne, James Ryan; Peter O'Mahony, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris

Replacements: Rob Herring, Dave Kilcoyne, Finlay Bealham, Iain Henderson, Ryan Baird, Craig Casey, Ross Byrne, Robbie Henshaw

TONGA Salesi Piutau; Afusipa Taumoepeau, Malakai Fekitoa, Pita Ahki, Solomone Kata; William Havili, Augustine Pulu; Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, Paula Ngauamo, Ben Tameifuna (captain); Sam Lousi, Halaleva Fifita; Tanginoa Halaifonua, Sione Talitui, Vaea Fifita

Replacements: Sam Moli, Tau Koloamatangi, Sosefo Apikotoa, Semisi Paea, Solomone Funaki, Sione Vailanu, Sonatane Takul, Fine Inisi

Whether on your TV or laptop, Ireland vs Tonga in the Rugby World Cup 2023 is airing for FREE in the UK today, on the ITVX streaming service, and in Ireland via the RTE Player. But don't worry if you're abroad while the games are playing, because you can watch the Rugby World Cup 2023 live streams on ITVX from anywhere with a VPN.

Quick links

► Date: Saturday, September 16

► Time: 8 pm UK / 3 pm ET / 12 pm PT / 5 am AEST (Sep. 17)

US: Peacock
ITV | ITVX (both free with licence fee)
IRE: RTE 2 |RTE Player (free)
Stan Sport
Stream anywhere: ExpressVPN

Ireland's resounding 82-8 defeat of Romania in their opening Rugby World Cup 2023 fixture provided proof, were it needed, that the world's top-ranked side are in France to slay. Sure, they actually conceded the opening try of their tournament opener, but the Irish were rampant from then on, scoring 12 tries and generally looking like the tournament favorites they are. Jonny Sexton returned from injury to score 24 points and overtake Ronan O'Gara as his country's most prolific player in World Cup history and the current captain needs just nine more points to overtake the former Munster fly half's all-time Test record of 1,083 for Ireland. With Scotland and South Africa in the same pool, the Irish can't let their concentration slip and with center Bundee Ake and forward Peter O'Mahoney in fine form, they've got the firepower to do just that

Tonga may never have emerged from the pool stage at a Rugby World Cup, but the current crop of players is among the best in the Pacific Islanders' history. Following a recent change in eligibility requirements at Test level whereby previously capped players can switch international allegiance providing they, a parent or grandparent were born in the country they wish to represent. Under such rules, the legendary New Zealand winger Jonah Lomu could have played for Tonga. That means former All Blacks George Moala, Vaea Fifita, Malakai Fekitoa, Charles Piutau and Augustine Pulu are now in Tonga's 33-man squad, while former Australia lock Adam Coleman is also in France. "This is certainly the strongest Tongan team on paper," head coach Toutai Kefu said. "I certainly think we're good enough. We're talking about the best team in the world here. It could be a game of inches; it might not be." Throw in captain and scrum-half Sonatane Takulua and you've got a squad, which has had to watch on while the rest of Pool B played their first round of matches, that has the potential to cause a real upset.

Remember, Ireland vs Tonga is just one of this tournament's fascinating encounters and you'll probably want to watch all the matches, whether you're planning to stream the entire Rugby World Cup or watch it on your TV. So keep reading for your entire list of options. We've also included lots of useful information below so you know when the matches take place, who will play, and where this evening's drama will go down.

How to watch Ireland vs Tonga in the UK for free

In the UK, ITV is the exclusive broadcaster for the 2023 Rugby World Cup, so you'll be able to watch Ireland vs Tonga – and all the games – on one of the various ITV-branded channels. This particular encounter will be shown on ITV1 as well as the ITVX streaming platform, with kick-off taking place at 8 pm.

If you don't have a TV, then you'll be able to use ITVX on your computer, phone, tablet or smart TV, as that lets you live stream from ITV channels.

ITV1 and ITVX are free to watch for license fee payers. If you're trying to access iPlayer while outside the UK, you might want to try a VPN to allow you to watch from abroad.

How to watch Ireland vs Tonga in Ireland for free

If you're fortunate enough to live in Ireland then you can enjoy every single minute of the Ireland vs Tonga live stream for FREE.

The game will be broadcast on the free-to-air channel RTE 2 and you can access a live stream via the RTE Player if you live within the broadcaster's coverage area.

If you're going to be abroad for the Ireland vs Tonga live stream and want to carry on watching your regular service because you'll need a VPN. We'll show you how to do that below from a site such as ExpressVPN.

How to watch Ireland vs Tonga in the US

Thanks to a partnership between World Rugby and NBC Sports, the broadcasting company will be the exclusive home for the Rugby World Cup games – including Ireland vs Tonga, which will be streamed live on Peacock. The match kicks off at 3 pm ET/midday PT.

Some other games are scattered among various NBC channels, but that's not the case for Ireland vs Tonga. NBCUniversal-owned streaming service Peacock is your go-to source for watching the match then, as it's the exclusive streaming home of NBC Sports' rugby coverage.

Read on to find out how to watch a live stream of Ireland vs Tonga if you're currently abroad.

How to watch Ireland vs Tonga in Australia

In Australia, you've got two options for watching the Rugby World Cup. Firstly, online streaming service Stan Sport will be showing every single game – including Ireland vs Tonga. The match is actually on Sunday, September 17, starting at 5 am.

Channel Nine will be showing all of the Australian team's games (and the final, whether or not the Wallabies make it), and will also be streaming it on 9Now. So that excludes the Ireland vs Tonga match.

If you're currently abroad, read on to find out how to watch all the Ireland vs Tonga live stream without missing a beat.

How to watch Ireland vs Tonga in the Rugby World Cup 2023 everywhere else

Wherever you live, there's a good possibility that a national broadcaster is streaming the Rugby World Cup 2023 matches, particularly if your country has a team playing in the tournament.

However, there's a possibility that there's no easy way of watching Rugby World Cup 2023 games. Thankfully, you can solve this issue with a Virtual Private Network (a VPN).

A VPN lets you get around the usual digital barriers by changing your IP address, meaning you can watch events like the World Cup 2023 tournament even if it is not directly broadcasting where you are. Our favorite is ExpressVPN, which is the No. 1-rated VPN in the world right now according to our sister site, TechRadar.

How to use a VPN to watch any stream

  • Download the app at ExpressVPN

  • Choose the location of the streaming service you want to watch.

  • Navigate to the streaming service and start watching!

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Rugby World Cup 2023 fixtures

Group stage

Friday, September 15

Group A: New Zealand vs Namibia

Saturday, September 16

Group B: Ireland vs Tonga
Group C: Wales vs Portugal
Group D: Samoa vs Chile

Sunday, September 17

Group B: South Africa vs Romania
Group C: Australia vs Fiji
Group D: England vs Japan

Wednesday, September 20

Group A: Italy vs Uruguay

Thursday, September 21

Group A: France vs Namibia

Friday, September 22

Group D: Argentina vs Samoa

Saturday, September 23

Group B: South Africa vs Ireland
Group C: Georgia vs Portugal
Group D: England vs Chile

Sunday, September 24

Group B: Scotland vs Tonga
Group C: Wales vs Australia

Wednesday, September 27

Group A: Uruguay vs Namibia

Thursday, September 28

Group D: Japan vs Samoa

Friday, September 29

Group A: New Zealand vs Italy

Saturday, September 30

Group B: Scotland vs Romania
Group C: Fiji vs Georgia
Group D: Argentina vs Chile

Sunday, October 1

Group B: South Africa vs Tonga
Group C: Australia vs Portugal

Thursday, October 5

Group A: New Zealand vs Uruguay

Friday, October 6

Group A: France vs Italy

Saturday, October 7

Group B: Ireland vs Scotland
Group C: Wales vs Georgia
Group D: England vs Samoa

Sunday, October 8

Group B: Tonga vs Romania
Group C: Fiji vs Portugal
Group D: Japan vs Argentina

Knockout stage

Saturday, October 14

QF1: Group C winner vs Group D runner-up
QF2: Group B winner vs Group A runner-up

Sunday, October 15

QF3: Group D winner vs Group C runner-up
QF4: Group A winner vs Group B runner-up

Friday, October 20

SF1: QF1 winner vs QF2 winner

Saturday, October 21

SF2: QF3 winner vs QF4 winner

Friday, October 27

Bronze Final: SF1 loser vs SF2 loser

Saturday, October 28

Final: SF1 winner vs SF2 winner

Rugby World Cup 2023 questions

Where does the Rugby World Cup take place?

The Rugby World Cup 2023 is being hosted by France, with nine different locations around the country hosting rugby games:

  • Stade de Framce in Saint-Denis, capacity 80,698

  • Stade Vélodrome in Marseille, capacity 67,394

  • Stade Lyon-Décines in Décines-Charpieu, capacity 59,186

  • Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, capacity 50,186

  • Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux in Bordeaux, capacity 42,115

  • Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in Saint-Étienne, capacity 41,965

  • Stade de Nice in Nice, 35,624

  • Stade de la Beaujoire in Nantes, capacity 35,322

  • Stadium Municipa in Toulouse, capacity 33,150

Which teams are in the Rugby World Cup?

There are 20 teams partaking in the Rugby World Cup, with each split into four groups of five in the first stage of the tournament.

Chile makes its debut to the tournament this year, knocking out the United States and Canada in its successful qualification tournament.

Group A
New Zealand

Group B
South Africa

Group C

Group D