With the Rugby World Cup only a little over a week away, results from a new survey have highlighted the special place that rugby holds in the hearts of the Irish and their high hopes for success in France.

The survey, conducted by Energia, a partner of the IRFU and Leinster Rugby, sought to understand the level of support for the Irish rugby team among the Irish population.

Almost three-quarters (74%) of just over 1000 Energia customers surveyed believe Ireland will get to at least the semi-finals and 44% believe they’ll go all the way.

The most optimistic fans are from Donegal where 64% think we can win it all, followed closely by residents of Carlow, Louth and Leitrim.

Over 50% of people in 11 counties believe Ireland will win the World Cup.

Whilst Rugby hasn’t always been the leading sport in Ireland, 31% now state it’s their favourite sport meaning it’s now taken over from football (27%), Gaelic Football (23%), and Hurling/Camogie (19%)

A huge 61% of people surveyed are planning on watching the Rugby World Cup that starts in France on Friday, September 8th.

“In a country where rugby has grown massively in popularity during recent years, it’s become not just sport but a way of life, these survey results underline the deep connection that exists between Irish people and their national team,” said Ross O’Mullane, Head of Digital at Energia.

“The potential for an Irish victory, long a dream of fans across the nation, holds the promise of uniting the country in a wave of celebration and joy.”