The Rugby World Cup begins in early September. Here are three interesting stories about the upcoming event. To monetize the information, make it in mostbet azerbaycan.
Ireland: will a difficult lot break one of the main favorites?
The Irish rugby team enters the upcoming World Cup poised for a historic run. Ranked number one globally and riding a 13-match unbeaten streak, Ireland appears ready to shake its reputation for underachieving in the sport’s premier event.
But a nightmarish draw stands in their way. Slotted into the notorious «Pool of Death» alongside defending champions South Africa and on-fire Scotland, Ireland faces a grueling road to reach the quarterfinals. Survive that gauntlet, and formidable France or New Zealand likely awaits.
Still, this Irish squad brims with promise. Fresh off a dominant Six Nations Grand Slam and a series victory in New Zealand, Ireland looks its strongest ever. The team has toppled South Africa, Australia and Argentina on home soil.
In short, Ireland boasts its greatest roster but faces its toughest World Cup path. Another early exit looms as a real danger, but so does a historic championship run. This team has the talent to overcome the draw from hell and shake up the rugby world.
What France with Dupont will show
Heartbreak defines France’s Rugby World Cup history. Les Bleus have reached the final three times – in 1987, 1999, and 2011 – only to fall short of the ultimate prize each time. Those runner-up finishes cap a legacy of letdowns in the sport’s premier event, including multiple gut-wrenching semi-final exits.
Of all Northern Hemisphere teams, only England in 2003 has broke the Southern Hemisphere’s stranglehold on the World Cup. But it is France who have endured the most anguish. In ’87, they stunned hosts Australia in the semis only to get routed by New Zealand in the final. In ’99, they spectacularly upset the heavily favored All Blacks in the semis, yet still lost to Australia in the final. And in 2011, on home soil, they outplayed New Zealand for much of the championship match but controversially fell to the All Blacks, with refereeing decisions playing a major role.
Those past failures and disastrous recent showings in 2015 and 2019 are now distant memories, with France entering this World Cup as favorites. Under coach Fabien Galthie and led by Antoine Dupont, the world’s best player currently, Les Bleus claimed the 2022 Six Nations title and notched wins over New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and Argentina. With home support behind them, France looks poised to exorcise its World Cup demons finally.
How far England can go
By most assessments, Eddie Jones had overstayed his welcome as England’s coach when he got sacked last December. But an argument can be made that his replacement, Steve Borthwick, has fared even worse thus far based on results and performances.
Borthwick’s first Six Nations campaign in 2023 brought no improvement as England finished fourth with losses to Scotland, France, and Ireland. Disastrous World Cup warm-up defeats to Wales, Ireland, and, shockingly Fiji at Twickenham saw them slip to eighth in the rankings.
Yet despite their poor form and dreary brand of rugby, England could bizarrely benefit from an easy path to the semifinals due to the luck of the draw.
Placed in the weakest World Cup group alongside faded 2019 overachievers Japan and Samoa, England likely need wins over those two to join Argentina in advancing from Pool D. Beat the Pumas, and England probably faces an equally out-of-sorts Wales in the quarterfinals.
Even if England falters against Argentina but still advances, their quarterfinal opponent would likely be an inconsistent Australian side that has suffered recent thrashings by New Zealand, South Africa, and France, including at home to Argentina.
So, while England may be playing some of the worst rugby Twickenham has ever witnessed, they could still stumble their way to the World Cup semifinals through a weak draw. And at that point, who knows what might happen?