Rugby union fans will be ready for six weeks of rugby with the latest edition of the Rugby World Cup about to start in Japan.
Pool B’s main matchup will be on Saturday evening when the All Blacks and the Springboks clash in Yokohama. This match will be huge, and the All Blacks will know how dangerous South Africa can be.
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Just two months ago, Herschel Jantjies grabbed a last-minute try, and Handre Pollard converted to snatch a 16-16 draw in Wellington. Canada, Italy and Namibia will not have enough to dent these two powerhouses of rugby.
Pool C should be down to two from Argentina, France and England qualifying. In their home tournament four years’ ago, England failed to get out of their pool and coach Eddie Jones will make sure this doesn’t happen again.
France and Argentina’s match on Saturday feels like a decider to see which team joins England in the quarter-finals. Tonga and the USA make the pool.
The tournament is set to be fascinating as Asia gets its first Rugby World Cup. The pool matches throw up some interesting clashes that could be key later in the tournament. However, one key factor could be the weather.
Japan is liable to typhoons, and no reserve days have been set aside. If games are affected by the weather, each team shares the points. A weather event could give one of the lesser sides, such as Japan or Fiji, an opportunity to get out of the pool and take down one of the fancied teams.
Who is going to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy on November 2 in Yokohama? If it is to be Michael Hooper, then the Wallabies need to be more consistent.
Despite the All Blacks being favourites, the winners are probably going to be England or South Africa. However, once the knockout stages are underway, then squad depth and a bit of luck could deliver Australia’s third Rugby World Cup win after 1991 and 1999.
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