The Tightest Rugby World Cup Ever?

April 28, 2023
3 min read

In every edition of the tournament so far, there have always been one or two favourites to lift the William Webb Ellis Cup. 1987, New Zealand. 2003, England. 2019, South Africa or New Zealand. For the first time, however, it’s almost impossible to pick a favourite ahead of the tenth edition of the tournament. To add even more complexity, the draw is somewhat interesting to say the least, given the disruption of the past few years. The top five teams in the world are all on the same side of the draw, meaning we have some monumental clashes in the pool stages; at least two of them will not make it past the quarter-final stage; and one will not even make it out of the pool stage.

So, let’s break it down… (Current world rankings in brackets)

The “left side” of the draw:

Pool A: New Zealand (3), France (2), Italy (14), Uruguay (17), Namibia (21)

Possibly the game of the tournament will take place on opening night. The 8th of September will see France v New Zealand at the Stade de France in Paris. In previous times, the victor would win themselves an easier Quarter Final. Considering Pool A crosses with Pool B, that is most definitely not the case this year. I think, baring a major upset, we can relatively safely say that regardless of the result, both France & New Zealand will progress to the knockout stages.

Pool B: South Africa (4), Ireland (1), Scotland (5), Tonga (15), Romania (19)

The group of death! If I were a betting man, I would put money on South Africa and Ireland progressing from Pool B. The Scots are more than capable of staging an upset and dumping either the reigning champions or the world number ones out of the tournament. Whatever happens, one of these top five ranked teams will be heading for an early shower. If you fancy watching Scotland take on the Springboks, you can find our packages for this game here.

The “right side” of the draw:

Pool C: Wales (9), Australia (7), Fiji (13), Georgia (11), Portugal (16)

This should be the easiest group to predict right? An easy ride for Wales & Australia. Well, on current form, that may not be the case. Let’s not forget that in their most recent meeting, Georgia overturned the Welsh in their own backyard! If an upset is going to happen, this is the most likely place to look for it. Could Portugal emulate Georgia and down a wounded Welsh Dragon? We’ve still got packages available for the game here.

Pool B: England (6), Japan (10), Argentina (8), Samoa (12), Chile (22)

Whilst not easy with three of the top ten teams set to go hammer and tong, you would expect this to be a relatively straight forward exercise for England. . Despite a poor Autumn Series, including a loss at home to Argentina, and a stuttering Six Nations, England will always back themselves heading into tournament rugby. The thought of facing Los Pumas and the Brave Blossoms is certainly a prospect to be relished. Why not join us to find out England’s fate? Watch England v Argentina here and England v Japan here. Or why not go the whole hog and join us for a 10-day extravaganza and watch England take on Argentina, South Africa v Scotland, take a breather as you sail to beautiful Corsica and Ibiza, returning in time to watch Wales play Portugal and England take centre stage again v Japan.

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