Two Years to go until RWC 2015: Some Early Predictions

It’s two years to the day until the Rugby World Cup kicks-off in England – definitely not too long to start getting excited about it. It’s a tad early to start making predictions, but that’s never really stopped us in the past – so get involved in the polls below and leave any thoughts about what you hope will/won’t happen at the tournament in the comments section.

Who will win the RWC 2015?

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Which of these potential 'surprise packages' will go furthest?

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Will the scrums still be an issue at the World Cup?

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How far will England get on home soil?

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Who will make it furthest in the tournament?

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Will the South Africans moan about the referee?

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Will Tigers fans stop being upset about Welford Road not being used as a venue?

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26 thoughts on “Two Years to go until RWC 2015: Some Early Predictions

  1. It’s still hard to appreciate how massive the Eng/Aus/Wal group is going to be … IF Wales don’t have a meltdown before then (and IF Adam stays fit). Every game between those teams is practically knock out rugby.

  2. My prediction for the semi-finalist…Boks/AB’s/Wales/Eng…….with Aus and France with an outside chance of making it! But the AB’s and Boks are certanties!

  3. I think Samoa stand a chance of making a semi final. They do have quite a few over 30s that will hopefully hold on for a couple of years.

    They have beaten Wales, Scotland and Italy in the past 12 months and were leading France until the latter stages. OK, they were shamed upfront against the Boks, but then again so were Australia.

    I am very worried over a group stage exit for England. Australia are not prospering under the new scrum laws, but have 2 years to sort it out. A full strength, fully fit Welsh side are better than England at the moment.

    Strength in depth will still prove to be the Welsh achilles heel. Including warm up matches it’s 9 or 10 tests in short period of time if you want to go all the way. Roberts, North, Warburton, Jones & Jenkins are hardly bullet proof and Wales are nothing like as strong without those guys. But they may be plenty good enough to beat England in a pool game though.

    Very interested to watch Ireland under Schmidt over the coming months, certainly plenty of raw material to work with.

    1. Agree about Samoa. They may well end up being favourites to beat Scotland in the group stages – if they qualify from that, they’ll have one of England, Wales or Australia in the quarter finals – all of whom they have the potential to beat, as they are unlikely to be bullied in the manner they were by South Africa.

    2. I think Samoa is a great shout. I’ve said it here before but I think the only reason it was only Wales out of the home nations that lost to Samoa last Autumn was that they only played us. They then went on to beat Scotland as you say. They’ve taken their usual massive physical violence and added one of the best scrum halves in the world so he can marshall where the violence is applied. Nearly all of their players are now pro and the IRB funding is enabling them to get together for sometime before internationals now. In the next world cup there will be no midweek games so no disparity in rest times. Samoa are going to be a threat to us NH sides.

      And yes, also agree on Wales. Strength in depth is the Achilles heel but perhaps not as bad as perceived by some. Let’s not forget that guys like Priestland, Warbs, Coombs, Hibbard, Cuthbert etc. all came into the side in the last few years as replacements for supposedly irreplaceable retired/injured players. Our U20s did well at the world cup. It’s looking better than it has done. Samson Lee might (and whisper this, so as not to jinx it) even make us less nervous about Adam soon…..

      1. Samoa backline:

        9 Kahn Fotuali’i
        10 Tusi Pisi
        11Alesana Tuilagi
        12 Jonny Leota or Eliota F-S
        13 George Pisi or Mapausua
        14 Ken Pisi or David Lemi
        15 Paul Williams

        Bags of talent

    1. Must …. resist …. urge …. to …. reply …………..

      This is hard….

      Sod it. 27 points was the difference. There is no way in any universe that Walsh was responsible for a 27 point difference.

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      1. I agree, but I’d still prefer he not ref our games. I’ve actually come around on him a lot but if he’s not involved in future drubbings we receive then it means we can’t really fall back on “Walsh screwed us” to explain why we lose.

        He’s one of the best referees in international rugby right now, but he’s not yet completely absolved himself of his past indiscretions, and it just seems like asking for trouble putting him in charge of England’s big games.

        1. But Chuck, why should England be treated preferentially like this just because of the perception that Walsh has it in for them? This would lead to anarchy – can Wales never have Alain Rowland’s as well please? I suspect the Kiwi’s would love to blackball pretty much every ref who was ever in charge when they lost, as it’s always the refs fault for them.

          Until people realise that he doesn’t have it in for England, or conversely someone shows me an unambiguously biased decision he made that changed the game, it’ll never move on.

        2. I’ve watched some super rugby games where he has been obnoxious, bordering on unhinged, towards kiwis. This isn’t something unique to internationals featuring England.

          Basically if he doesn’t like the way he’s questioned, or his instructions not followed, it’s like they have just ridiculed his ‘manhood’ and you are then in trouble for the rest of the game.

          1. Or, taken the other way, those teams dumb enough to wind up the ref by questioning him or not doing what they’re told then feel like they’re on the wrong side of his decisions. Basic good captaincy and good rugby – get on side with the ref. Don’t p*** him off, no matter how much of a tool you think he is.

            Whether this is right or wrong is a different matter – it is what it is and every decent captain should know how to avoid annoying a ref.

            1. Completely agree, he is a known quantity and it is for England to adapt to the ref, not the other way round. Publicly criticising him afterwards and seeing ‘clarifications’ is just dumb as no doubt he will be reffing England again in the future so we should be de-escalating things as much as possible. Didn’t like the victim mentality at all.

  4. Your poll illustrates why the sport could remain nothing but a small sport on the greater stage of the world with its clearly biased types of questions, aptly illustrated by the ‘Grandieur’ of ‘England’ and the belittlement of all and sundry which does not fall within your ambit of the ‘world powers’ of Australia, England and New Zealand. You might have noticed what other opinions are held of you and your irk’s during the G20 summit in St Petersburg quite recently. Europeans don’t share your views. it is outdated and quite clearly is evident of gross discrimination. We will strongly support any other team too, as we have done before, against the Neo Colonialist views.

    1. Jan – is that a joke comment? Or is your disgruntlement geared towards the options available for who will win the world cup? A little look at the IRB Rankings would show that the options given are 7 out of the top 8 ranked teams and i’d guess the reason Samoa aren’t in the list is because the readership of this blog would come mostly from Britain and Ireland, hence why Ireland are given as an option…also why the four “home nations” are given as options for who will go the furthest. Or the question specifically geared to England…they’re the home team which is why they’ve been singled out!

      Which countries would you like to see in there as polling questions/answers?

    2. Hahaha, you take time out of your life to post some politically motivated hate for millions of people in countries you have probably never been to on a sports blog? Seriously?

      You will always be contributing to the problem and never the solution.

      There is a difference between being proud of your past and being stuck in it. I’m proud to live in one of the most culturally diverse and inclusive countries in the world.

    3. What is Jan on? I hate to use the round balled game as an example but if you did a straw poll on who would potentially win their World Cup next year you would put in Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Holland, Italy, France, Germany, England (!?!), Belgium. England because of patriotism and Belgium would be the outside let with an extremely strong looking team.

      Its not weighting toward certain teams its just who has done well historically and who is likely to do well on home soil, although I fully support the inclusion of Minnows in the competition as it supports their growth what is the point of putting forward Romania, Namibia or Uruguay as winners?

      I do not agree about Samoa they are a good unit but I do not think they will be a match for England or Wales but Australia could be rattled, I fancy a good tournament for Canada and also Georgia if Georgia qualify.

  5. My gut feeling is that England can’t really go wrong in the pool stages buoyed by a raucous and expectant crowd, and in turn they will rain tries down upon the Welsh like it’s going out of style.

    This will lead to a dog fight between Wales and Australia for second place, which will go the way of the Wallabies considering their used to sticking one on Wales.

    The Argies will turn up from the rugby wilderness, ready to chew gum and kick ass dispatching beatings until the semi final.

    The French team will agree to fall out with their management and each other, as is their sporting tradition. Somehow they will still look like contenders….

    Commentators will call Ireland a ‘dark horse’ which will instantly backfire horribly, as they struggle past some developing rugby nation. Ditto Scotland.

    I am the rugby Nostrodamus, there is no debate, this will happen.

  6. Not sure that Australia will even make the cut.

    By 2015 League will have grown even faster sucking more young players into its orbit and with new Australian Rules teams in Queensland and NSW, union could rapidly disappear off the radar.

    Having played both Union and AFL at senior level….professional in the case of AFL….union is
    on the way out down under, witnessed by the continuous rise in Pacific players in most of the Super and the Wallabies teams.

    Apart from lack of national exposure a significant factor is that parents are discouraging children from taking up union because of the number of injuries in scrummaging and tackling……and that means a lack of senior players in 2015

    1. I hope your wrong, but I do think that your correct in identifying that Union faces some stiff competition from League and AFL.

  7. My final 8:
    New Zealand
    South Africa

    NZ defeats Ireland. NZ have never lost to Ireland and that won’t start now. However, I would have liked it if Ireland won their pool. They could possibly get in that way.
    SA defeats Wales. This is probably the easiest qfinal to pick.
    Argentina defeats France. France would win now, but a lot can happen in two years.
    England defeats Samoa. 7th in the world is the best they will ever be.

    NZ beats SA.No good reason really. NZ is like England, though.
    England beat Argentina. This is a long way for Los Pumas.

    England win. No reasons necessary.

    1. England
    2. New Zealand
    3. South Africa
    4. Argentina
    5. France
    6. Ireland
    7. Wales
    8. Samoa
    9. Australia
    10. Italy

  8. #ssrugby my RWC prediction team SA 1.Tendai Mtawarira 2.Bismarck du plessis 3.Coenie Oosthuizen 4.Eben Etzebeth 5.Pieter steph du toit 6.Willem Alberts 7.Lappies Labuschagne 8.Duane Vermeulen 9.francois Hougaard 10.Johan Goosen 11.Cheslin kolbe 12.Jan Serfontein 13.Damian de allende 14. Bjorn Basson 15.Patrick Lambie

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