FIVE GENUINE CANDIDATES TO WIN RWC
Obvious. They are the number one ranked team in the world and defending champions. They have the necessary squad depth, the top-line talent, the gameplan, the coaching staff and they have a legendary captain. It’s just about in the bag.
The Boks love a World Cup. They do tournament play nicely – usually. They have the appetite for it because they don’t naturally enjoy taking risks and could happily kick the ball in the air or put it up their jumpers all day. Have a formidable pack, some backs who can shift and play a bit and a super clear understanding of what they are trying to do.
No, not kidding. Australians are blessed with a selfconfidence many other countries aren’t. The natural inclination of Australians is to back themselves ...until they are dead. And even when they are 96 and on their last breath, a typical Australian will back himself to reach 97. Self belief will serve them well in England and they have enough quality in their backs to score plenty of tries.
A bit like the Springboks, England are suited to tournaments. They will feel the pressure as hosts and while that could break them, it could just as easily make them and when they get going, they can be formidable. They are a massively physical side who defend superbly.
Believe it – these guys are not the Ireland of old. This is New Ireland [ below]– fit, strong, well organised and with just enough confidence. They have beaten England, South Africa and Australia in the last two years and were 20 seconds from adding the All Blacks to that list. They are a sit and wait team – but whatever works.