Pundit Arena Rugby World Cup Centre
Welcome to the Pundit Arena Rugby World Cup centre. Here you will get daily updates from France as we track the action every step of the way.
Ireland will take most of our attention as Andy Farrell’s men aim to surpass the quarter-finals stage for the first time ever and maybe even get their hands on the trophy.
But there is so much more than that to get excited by. France, New Zealand and South Africa are all frightening contenders with different strengths, England, Wales and Australia come in with a point to prove having already been written off by pundits, the in-form Scotland could be a surprise package…and that’s before even mentioning the likes of Argentina, Japan, Italy and Fiji.
Argentina are tipped to fare well under Michael Cheika as the majority of their squad are familiar with France and French culture as they play their club rugby there.
Japan have struggled in recent times but they did beat Ireland to make the quarter-finals at the last World Cup and have stated their intention to win the whole thing this time around.
Italy meanwhile – it must be said – are unlikely to make it beyond the group stage. They performed admirably in the Six Nations but it would be a seismic shock should they topple either New Zealand or South Africa.
Fiji won’t require such a miracle to advance, however. Many believe the Pacific Islanders have a fine chance of beating either Wales or Australia to a place in the quarter-finals via Pool C.
This week’s Rugby World Cup fixtures.
- Friday, Sept 22 – Argentina v Samoa, 4.45pm – ITV 1
- Saturday, Sept 23 – Georgia v Portugal, 1pm – ITV 1
- Saturday, Sept 23 – England v Chile, 4.45pm – ITV 1
- Saturday, Sept 23 – South Africa v Ireland, 8pm – ITV 1
- Sunday, Sept 24 – Scotland v Tonga, 4.45pm – ITV 1
- Sunday, Sept 24 – Wales v Australia, 8pm – ITV 1
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