Ireland will face defending champions New Zealand in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final tie on Saturday. Before that, Ireland's coach, Joe Schmidt, advised his boys to reject the concept of being an underdog.

The All Blacks are already favourites to win their third consecutive World Cup. In contrast, Ireland hasn't reached the semi-finals in any World Cup to date. The Irish team will be looking forward to landing their maiden last-four qualification. Although the task ahead of them will be tough, Schmidt thinks it's not an impossible one.

So far this year, Ireland hasn't been up to the mark as far as their on-pitch performance is concerned. In spite of that, their coach has not given up on them. He believes that his men have the ability to trouble the kiwis on their big match-day.

Schmidt didn't surprise pundits on team selection, as he showed his faith in the side's most experienced campaigners. Over the six years that he spent as Ireland's national coach, most of these players showed some brilliant performances. Hence, Schmidt won't take any alternate chances, especially when his team is about to play arguably their most important game in the last 4 years.

Jonny Sexton
Jonny Sexton Getty

Before the quarter-finals kick off in Tokyo later this week, Schmidt told BBC, "You can't go out against an All Blacks side and accept you are second fiddle. There are a number of players within the side that have contributed to a fair bit of history for us."

Historically, Schmidt's men have enjoyed wins over all of the three biggest southern hemisphere sides. Therefore, the boys in green will be confident enough of their capabilities. After already having beaten the All Blacks twice, Ireland will hope for the best. Coincidentally, both times that Ireland defeated the world champions, Schmidt was in charge.