The Rugby World Cup starts in a couple of days. The ‘pool’ stage comprises of four pools of five teams, with the winner and runner-up from each pool going through to the quarter finals. With the arrangement of the teams in the pools, I would argue that 7 of the 8 quarter finalists are pretty much a foregone conclusion with, unfortunately, the only question mark being the runners up of pool C. The crunch match, which also just so happens to be the last match of the group, is likely to be on the 29th September when Scotland play Italy. The winner of this match will most likely be the runner up of the group behind New Zealand (the famous ‘All Blacks’) who should have no trouble toping the group. In pool D, France and Ireland will make it through to the knock-out stages, though this is the one pool where the final positions could go either way.

My predictions?

Pool A Winner – South Africa, Runner-Up – England

Pool B Winner – Australia, Runner-Up – Wales

Pool C Winner – New Zealand, Runner-Up – Scotland

Pool D Winner -France, Runner-Up – Ireland (on point difference!)

If those were to be the final group stage placings, the quarter finals would be:

Australia v England (I’d predict Australia to win)

South Africa v Wales (S. Africa) New Zealand v Ireland (New Zealand)

France v Scotland (Hmm, I’d love to say Scotland, but realistically, and with the added advantage of being the host nation, France are much more likely!)

Semis Australia v New Zealand (New Zealand)

S. Africa v France (S. Africa)

Third Place Match Australia v France (Australia)

Final New Zealand v South Africa (New Zealand) So, there is my full prediction! New Zealand to be the eventual winners with South Africa the beaten finalists and Australia in third place. Time will tell!

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