The teams are now installed in their respective camps, the hordes of supporters from around the world are beginning to converge on France and the organising committee will be breaking out in a cold sweat, hoping that everything goes smoothly for the big kick off tomorrow.
The stage is set for the 7-week festival of rugby that will see 20 teams competing for 1 prize in a celebration of the values that rugby stands for.
Pride, passion, teamwork and leadership will all be in evidence, and although one of the big teams will walk away with the title, the rugby minnows will also bask in the limelight in a celebration of the greatest game in the world.
Right or wrong, there will be a number of mismatches throughout the competition, and we’ll see some big scores in matches like New Zealand versus Portugal. However, after that game, no doubt the Portuguese will be grinning from ear to ear, delighted to have played the greatest rugby team in the world, and probably just a little pleased to still be alive.
So in 48 matches’ time, we will know the next World Champions, and we will be able to reflect on what will undoubtedly be a momentous event. It looks like the trophy is New Zealand’s to lose, South Africa and France should be their main challengers, whilst England’s spluttering chariot does not seem to have enough momentum to carry it home.