Meet Ireland's rugby Wags as Andy Farrell's men look to make history at World Cup ahead of opener against Romania | The Sun

IRELAND'S Rugby World Cup campaign is very nearly upon us.

Andy Farrell's men have travelled to Bordeaux for their opening group contest against Romania on Saturday.

They will be without Dan Sheehan, Dave Kilcoyne, and Jack Conan for the game due to injury, although it is expected they will be back for next week's clash against Tonga.

Meanwhile, reigning World Player of the Year Josh van der Flier will be available from the bench and Mack Hansen has been rested.

Going into the World Cup as the number one team in the world and as Grand Slam champions, there will be high expectations on their shoulders.

Among them will be for them to do what none of their predecessors have done, and that is get into a semi-final.

Off the field, they will be cheered on along the way by loving families, partners, and wives keen to see them succeed.

And here, SunSport takes a look at some of those dream pairings.

Johnny Sexton & Laura Priestley

Saturday's game against Romania will be Johnny Sexton's first since Ireland won the Grand Slam against England on March 18.

A mix of injury and suspension kept the 38-year-old from making his Leinster farewell and Aviva Stadium Ireland goodbye.

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Johnny Sexton and his wife LauraCredit: Instagram/sexton_johnny10
Johnny Sexton and Laura got married in 2013Credit: Sportsfile – Subscription

An emotional year has been aided by the support at home, led by loving wife Laura.

Sexton married his childhood sweetheart Laura Priestly in 2013 after they met as teenagers, and have three kids together – Luca, Amy, and Sophie.

While he would be forced off with a groin injury in that England game at Lansdowne Road, he did cement himself as the highest points scorer in Six Nations history.

As the game ticked into its dying embers and Sexton was stood amongst the subs, his family made their way down to the partition that separated the players from the crowd.

Johnny first embraced Laura before turning to his eldest son, Luca.

At that point, father and son partook in a special handshake, ending with a fist bump and a little 'boom' from Sexton himself.

Peter O'Mahony & Jessica Moloney

O'Mahony has been married with Jessica Moloney for three years but last year they decided to have a second wedding after their first tying of the knot occurred during Covid lockdown in 2020.

Last September, they got married in a stunning ceremony at Aix-en-Provence in the south of France.

Both exchanged vows as they married after a long-term relationship.

Many of the guests were Ireland and Munster rugby teammates, including Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton, along with family members and friends.

The pair have two sons and a daughter. Indie is the eldest and she's seven.

Theo is four and youngest Ralph is just two-years-old.

At home, Peter is well known for taking care of rugby's best gardens and is often praised for having a green thumb.

The Munster star often takes to Instagram to share photos and updates on his garden.

Josh van der Flier & Sophie De Patoul

Josh van der Flier wed Sophie De Patoul in August of this year at Luttrellstown Castle in Dublin. 

The 29-year-old shared two images of the happy couple on his Instagram account, with the date of their wedding as the caption. 

In one, the pair are walking down the aisle after marrying and in another, they are outside the castle in front of a vintage car.

Sophie also shared a number of photos, where she said she ‘got to marry her best friend.’

Josh and Sophie started dating in April 2019 and he popped the question in July 2021.

She recently had her hen party with friends in Portugal and said the wedding was ‘a dream.’

Rugby star Josh has been playing for Ireland since 2016, when he started in the Six Nations against England at Twickenham.

Tadhg Beirne & Harriet Fuller

Tadhg Beirne romantically tied the knot with long-time partner Harriet Fuller late last year.

However, the beautiful occasion was almost very different, according to the bride.

Munster's lock proposed to Fuller in December 2020 at Limerick's Adare Manor.

The happy couple got married in August 2022 in a stunning castle wedding in Co. Kildare.

They solidified their vows at Kilkea Castle with friends and family as they enjoyed a lavish ceremony.

The Ireland and Munster lock shared a number of photos from the happy day on social media, including an up-close look at his wife's white wedding dress.

However, in a Q&A on Instagram, Harriet revealed that said gown was almost completely different as a result of an ill-judged blunder on her part.

She said: "I actually said yes to a different dress before this one. I honestly didn't enjoy trying on wedding dresses, so I was quick to get it over with.

"After a couple of months, I knew I'd made a mistake as I always wanted a big dress and thankfully I was in a position to change it.

"So moral of the story, try and enjoy yourself and take some time out to think about what you really want for you, and for anyone else x"

Andrew Porter & Elaine Sutton

On the day Ireland won the Grand Slam, many of the stars invited their families onto the pitch to celebrate the win.

That included Porter, who was photographed alongside fiancee Elaine Sutton, whom he also brought along to a subsequent, more formal function, at which the partying began.

Alongside of the adorable couple at the function while holding the Triple Crown trophy, he said: "A day to remember"

Elaine, meanwhile, said: "Never been more proud to be Irish ☘️💚"

Porter and Elaine have been together for five years, and got engaged last summer.

Coming after Ireland's historic series win in New Zealand over the All Blacks, Porter popped the question in Nice.

Alongside a photo of the two shared on Instagram, he said: ""23. 7. 2022 ❤. I love you @elainecsutton."

Elaine, meanwhile, said: "I get to marry my best friend!!! Easiest yes ever."

The wonderful news attracted a variety of congratulations, including from several of Porter's Ireland teammates.

Keith Earls & Edel McGee

Keith Earls is going into the World Cup fresh off winning his 100th Ireland cap in their warm-up win over England.

The Munster winger was not short of support, mainly from his loving family with his wife Edel and three daughters Ella-May, Laurie and Emie.

Keith and Edel have been together a very long time and first met when the rugby star was only 12-years-old.

When discussing their early days, Keith credited Edel with keeping him on track throughout his teenage years in Moyross.

Keith and Edel got married in 2016 at the Our Lady Star of the Sea church in Quilty, Co Clare.

Several of Keith's rugby teammates were on the guests list for the big day including Paul O'Connell and Simon Zebo.

The couple have since had three daughters Ella-May (11), Laurie (8) and Emie (4).

Conor Murray & Joanna Cooper

Conor Murray is relatively open about his private life with model wife Joanna Cooper.

The pair first met on a night out in 2017 but interestingly it wasn't exactly a case of instant attraction.

Murray and Cooper tied the knot in June after jetting themselves and a large group of their family and friends to the Algarve in Portugal for a lavish ceremony.

When it came to the wedding itself, Murray swaggered in a charcoal grey suit, while Joanna was resplendent in a strapless white dress.

29-year-old Derry native Joanna is also a huge advocate for The Alzheimer Society of Ireland.

It's a cause close to her heart as she revealed in February that her mother has been dealing with the condition for two years.

Paul O'Connell & Emily O'Leary

Ireland's forwards coach Paul O'Connell married Emily O'Leary in the south of France in July 2013.

While plenty of familiar faces were in attendance such as Donnacha O’Callaghan, Ronan O’Gara, Keith Wood, Jerry Flannery and Alan Quinlan, there were also a few gatecrashers present as O'Connell revealed in an appearance on the Potholes & Penguins podcast.

O'Connell is a doting dad of three kids, Paddy (13), Lola (8), and Felix (5).

Their eldest son, Paddy, was born in April 2010, while daughter Lola arrived in November 2014.

Paul and Emily's youngest, Felix, was born in November 2017.

Andy Farrell & Colleen O'Loughlin

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell married childhood sweetheart Colleen in 1995.

They have four children together, Gabriel, Gracie, Elleshia, and most famously Owen, who is a legendary England international.

While Andy had a relatively modest international playing career in rugby union with England, the same cannot be said about his son, Owen.

Since winning his first cap in 2012, the Saracens out-half has gone on to win 107 for the Three Lions, while he is also a three-time British & Irish Lion.

That included 2020, during which his father was defence coach.

To-date, Owen has been won European Player of the Year twice and won the Grand Slam in 2016 and 2020.

Andy and Owen have been in opposition on a number of occasions since the former took the helm at Ireland.

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After leading the Boys in Green to the Grand Slam against England, Andy took the time to console his eldest son.

Meanwhile, amid the backlash after Owen's red card for a shoulder-high tackle on Wales' Taine Basham was overturned, Andy came to his son's defence.

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