The group stages come to a dramatic end this weekend with 8 teams still in with a shout of qualifying for the last 5 quarter-final places, and to celebrate, I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of lazy ‘franglais’ headlines with the title of this post.
Southern Hemisphere giants New Zealand, South Africa and Australia are already through. England face Tonga, Wales take on Fiji and Scotland play Italy in winner-takes-all clashes, whilst Ireland must win a bonus point and stop Argentina from doing so in their Pool D clash.
Four years ago, I could not imagine ever being worried about playing Tonga, but they have had an outstanding World Cup and probably deserve to go through ahead of the drab English team.
Wales will be wary of the Fijians and their pace out wide, and will probably look to keep it tight – something they do not normally do, and they could be embarrassed.
Scotland will also be red-faced should they lose to Italy, after yielding to New Zealand without a fight to rest their top players for this game.
With Ireland’s chances dangling by the tiniest of threads, this could be the worst ever World Cup for the home nations. Realistically, England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland could all tumble out of the competition at the group stage in what would be a triumph for the emerging Southern Hemisphere nations, but a travesty for these four rugby superpowers.
A thrilling weekend lies in wait.