Having played and watched a fair bit of rugby over the last 30 years, my picks for the 2015 Rugby World Cup are as follows.
Notes: Wales will be the surprise package of the World Cup. A well-coached, experienced and hungry side, and having done the hard yards training at the Doha Rugby Football Club, I’m picking them to top the pool. I don’t think England will make it out of the pool. They are still young and inexperienced compared to their Australian and Welsh rivals. You need more than a scrum and a goal kicker to make the Quarter Finals at a World Cup.
Also picking Warbuton and Tipuric to play left and right.
1. South Africa
Notes: This one is pretty self explanatory. Scotland have a great new coach and are on the rise but a few years off beating an experienced Samoa side (especially with former Massey High School captain, Tusi Pisi, at 10) for second in the pool.
1. All Blacks
No notes needed.
Notes: It will be close, but Ireland by a nose.
All Blacks v France. Result: All Blacks win. Only a fool makes the same mistake twice.
Ireland v Argentina. Result: Ireland win. A physical encounter. Will be closer than anticipated.
South Africa v Australia. Result: Australia win. A very physical encounter. Australia are on the rise and will win it by a nose.
Wales v Samoa. Result. Wales win.
All Blacks v Australia
Wales v Ireland
From here, any one of these teams can win it. And I’m hoping it’s the All Blacks.
But they need to be hungry. And Wales, Ireland and Australia are.
The hunger wasn’t there from the All Blacks in The Rugby Championship final – it needs to be in the World Cup semi-final. Insh’allah the final as well.
Looking forward to it.