So the pools have been announced and personally I’m very happy with the draw from an England perspective. Group of Death? Pah, say that to Italy, who have to face New Zealand and South Africa.
Of cause France and Argentina will be tough competition for England, however they are teams we have an excellent history with and I feel Eddie Jones will be fully prepared for their potential game plans.
Australia and Wales will be once again locking horns, with Australia probably feeling they can do the business, however it can’t be taken for granted. Let’s not overlook the Georgians, who are banging on the door of the 6 Nations, and in my humble opinion deserve a play off established in the future, meeting the losing 6NS team for promotion/relegation match.
Ireland look hot favourites to win their group, however let’s not forget Wales will be biting at their heels and Japan, on home soil, will be looking to make it into the next round and will be fully prepared to take the Welsh scalp if the red dragons fail to perform.
Who will get through? I think Ireland, Wales, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Wales look favourite, however the beauty of the World Cup is the underdog winning a match against all odds. With probably USA or Canada, Namibia, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa joining the tournament, this will be a true world cup with a host of aspiring nations looking to steal the limelight from the big boys.
Remember, don’t forget the World Cup has a long history of upsets and dreams being made…remember the Canadians in France putting in a RWC match of lifetime in the pouring rain, Western Samoa taking on Wales for the first time and introducing them to the South Pacific tackle! My favourite however has to be Japan’s last minute winner against South Africa. Someone will rock the boat, maybe Georgia, possibly Fiji…whoever it is, good luck to you. The countdown to the RWC 2019 has truly started!
Just to update you on my own plans, I have now secured £2000 for travel costs, however if you or your business can help me visit Japan, via the Trans-Siberian express, during the RWC 2019 and help me visit kidney transplant patients in Japan and inspire them to follow their dreams, then simply get in contact via firstname.lastname@example.org
Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe 1, play-off winner (Europe 2 v Oceania 3)
Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1, repechage winner
Pool C: England, France, Argentina, Americas 1, Oceania 2
Pool D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Oceania 1, Americas 2