Prop Andrew Porter insists every member of Andy Farrell’s 33-man squad believes Ireland can win the World Cup.

Rugby’s top-ranked nation are among the favourites for glory in France but have never won a knockout match at the tournament following a string of disappointing last-eight exits.

The Six Nations champions launched their campaign by dispatching Pool B minnows Romania 82-8 and on Saturday face Tonga in Nantes before pivotal Paris showdowns with title holders South Africa and Scotland.

A post shared by ANDREW PORTER (@andrewporter___)

Porter believes Ireland’s current crop of players have no qualms about previous failures or the quarter-final “curse”.

“I don’t think this squad does,” said the 27-year-old, who was part of the team eliminated 46-14 by New Zealand at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

“We all have the belief that we can go and win. I don’t think anyone is too bothered with what’s happened in the past.

“Obviously there’s lads that have been in three World Cups and four World Cups, and it’s incredible to have their experience in the squad.

Ireland suffered quarter-final disappointment against New Zealand in Japan four years ago

“But there’s not one player in the squad who doesn’t believe we can go and do this.

“I don’t think there is really any hang-ups about whatever you call it, ‘the curse’.”

Ireland face a major challenge to snap their unwanted World Cup record as they are likely to face a quarter-final clash with formidable hosts France or the All Blacks.

Farrell’s men must first secure progression from arguably the competition’s toughest group.

Ireland performance coach Gary Keegan, who works with players and management on mental preparation, believes head coach Farrell is “100 per cent convinced” of breaking new ground.

“It takes a leader who has the confidence in himself to want to break the mould and to want to reach for the stars,” said Keegan.

“Because if he’s not convinced that it can be achieved, it’s very hard to convince everybody else that it can be achieved.

“He’s 100 per cent convinced. That doesn’t mean there’s any guarantees in terms of where you end up.

Ireland boss Andy Farrell, pictured, recruited performance coach Gary Keegan to help his players deal with the mental challenges of rugby

“It’s about how we respond to difficulties as we face them. We’re not expecting the paths to be clear or easy. It’s not meant to be because it wouldn’t be worthwhile if it was.

“I think the group has always had that potential, there’s a lot of talent . One of the big changes is the empowerment that Andy provides to those players.

“There’s a very significant buy in to what we’re trying to achieve and a belief in how we’re trying to achieve it.”

Leinster player Porter shed around four kilograms and had a face “like a strawberry” during Saturday’s sweltering curtain-raiser in Bordeaux.

In addition to recovering from that gruelling experience, he and team-mates Bundee Aki, Mack Hansen and Joe McCarthy took time out from training to visit Clocheville Children’s Hospital in Ireland’s base city of Tours.

Porter, who aged 12 lost his mother Wendy to breast cancer and is involved with the Irish Cancer Society, found the experience “incredibly humbling”.

“It’s obviously a charity that’s close to my heart,” he said.

“It was a hospital for children with cancer, so it was incredibly humbling seeing how brave those kids were, and just kind of being able to brighten their day.

“It meant a lot to myself, and I’m sure the other players who were there as well.

“It’s obviously something I dealt with a lot when I was younger and didn’t have a lot of knowledge about it at the time.

“But, given my status, it’s incredibly important to use that status to benefit others and that’s what I’m going to try and do.”