All Eyes on England as the country hosts the Rugby World Cup for the first time. As the 20 finest teams of the union code descend upon these shores from the 19th September, we take a look at the potential runners and riders who could be competing in the final.
Let’s start with the facts:
20 teams consisting of 4 pools of 5 teams will compete in a league format with the top 2 teams in each group making it to the quarter finals; from here it’s a straight knockout format until the winner is crowned at Twickenham on Saturday 31st October at 4pm.
The curtain raiser sees the hosts pitted against the small nation of Fiji, but don’t let that fool you, for they’re a nation built on quality not quantity with raw power and brute strength, they will be no pushovers for England in the opening fixture.
South Africa always give a strong account of themselves during the World Cup but The Springboks are still waiting for that second cup win after probably the most famous victory of all on home turf in 1995. They began their campaign against the rather delicately named Brave Blossoms of Japan on Saturday, and unfortunately didn’t succeed. Many thought they would still emerge from the weakest pool top of the group, after their shock opening game upset, setting up a potential clash with the hosts at Twickenham.
We got a chance to see the famous ‘Haka’ in all its glory, as pre-tournament favourites New Zealand took on a steely Argentina team in their opening fixture at Wembley stadium on Sunday 20th September. The All Blacks arrived at the tournament in stellar form and hoped it was enough to carry them to victory, which fortunately it was, however with a bit of a struggle. In the process they could become the first team ever to retain the Webb Ellis Cup.
Lifted by recent wins against near neighbours New Zealand and fellow southern hemisphere heavyweights South Africa in the Rugby Championship, Australia enters the tournament with a strong chance of lifting the cup. Who could have said that a year ago after the tumultuous exit of head coach Ewen McKenzie? Replacement Michael Cheika has managed to get The Wallabies playing some great rugby, they will be full of confidence going into their opener against the Fijians.
We got involved and headed down to the River Tyne to take some pictures of the sign on the bridge, featuring some of our Oakley glasses. Shop Now