Rugby: A Look Ahead To The Rugby World Cup
From The Sidelines
(Maximum Sports Channels – PDL
) The 2015 Rugby World Cup
will get underway later this autumn and will see some of the greatest union players on the planet feature throughout the tournament. Host nation England will be quietly confident of their chances despite a disappointing Six Nations whilst defending champions New Zealand will be looking to retain their title and possess one of the strongest squads in the sport. We take a look at some of the leading contenders for the crown and give our thoughts on who could lift the trophy on October 31st. For more information, news and odds on the upcoming tournament or for rugby news in general, click here
Stuart Lancaster’s side will be looking to bounce back after a difficult few months as they attempt to win their first World Cup title since Jonny Wilkinson’s famous drop-goal clinched the 2003 competition. England have struggled with a number of injury problems throughout the past six months but have also been plagued by disciplinary issues off the field that have seen the likes of Manu Tuilagi and Danny Cipriani receive negative criticism in the press. Lancaster’s men shall attempt to reach the latter stages of the tournament on home soil and the supporters are likely to play a huge role in England’s success throughout the tournament.
Defending champions New Zealand are a formidable outfit and are more than capable of destroying the best rugby union nations in the world. With the experienced Richie McCaw and veteran Dan Carter in their ranks, the All Blacks obtain talent all over the field and their advice on the training ground and in the dressing room could be priceless for the younger members of the team throughout the competition. New Zealand defeated France in the 2011 final and they will be looking to secure back-to-back World Cup triumphs in the showpiece event at Twickenham on October 31st.
Meanwhile, Warren Gatland’s Wales and Six Nations champions Ireland could also feature in the latter stages of the tournament. In fact, Wales could well have been involved in the 2011 final had referee Alain Rolland opted not to dismiss captain Sam Warburton in their semi-final clash with France. They will hope that they can gain an advantage in their matches at the Millennium Stadium and, although they have been paired with both England and Australia in Pool A, they will fancy their chances of a good run in the competition.