It was New Zealand's day in the opening pool B encounter against South Africa on Saturday, a match which lived up to a number of expectations leading into it. What started out as an intense contest, worthy of a final, however, turned into a scrappy encounter that South Africa will hope to forget.
The Rugby World Cup kicks off on Friday, and this year promises to be one of the most competitive and exciting tournaments ever. Realistically, any one of four top teams could win it, with other dark horses also capable of pulling off a few big wins. As difficult as it is to predict the World Cup in Japan, let's take a look at it anyway...
We are well into the week of the start of the Rugby World Cup, and every country should be ready for their World Cup campaigns. One country that needs some work ahead of the start of the showcase in Japan is Argentina, who have been less than inspiring over the past two years. Despite making some headway into becoming a real world rugby power after joining the Southern Hemisphere Rugby Championship, they have since taken a few steps backwards in their performances.
Just days away from the start of the Rugby World Cup in Japan, and social media is filled with predictions and support for various countries. One of the most popular teams that have been touted to make the final have been in phenomenal form in 2019, and will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with in Japan. Coached by the masterful Eddie Jones, England look like a well-oiled machine after their Word Cup preparations.
As we draw nearer to the start of the Rugby World Cup in Japan, every rugby supporter has made their predictions as to who will lift the Webb Ellis Cup. Plenty of nations are in the mix as people talk about which team is most likely to win, however one team is noticeably absent from the conversation surrounding potential finalists. This is for good reason.
As we gear up for the biggest event on the rugby calendar, people all over traditional and social media debate the various teams' chances in Japan, and how each team should stack up throughout the tournament. In the first of a number of previews and profiles of the top teams in this year's World Cup, I look at the Springboks and their form and depth running into the showcase in Japan.
This weekend will see the final preparation matches ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan at the end of September. One of the most influential matches of the weekend will take place in Dublin, as Ireland and Wales will clash in their second match in two weeks; a match which can have great ramifications for the much debated official World Rankings.
After the announcement of the 31-man Springbok Squad on Monday, it is clear that Rassie Erasmus' chargers are filled with talent and depth. This makes it more challenging for the head of SA Rugby to select a first choice starting lineup heading into the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
With the Springbok squad Rugby World Cup announcement just a day away, and with media all over South Africa speculating about which one out of the current 32-man squad will miss out, I thought I should add my voice into the conversation. With just 31 places available in the Rugby World Cup 2019 squad, competition for all places is fierce, and provides a positive selection headache for the Bok coach for the first time since the last World Cup.
Coetzee has announced his squad to take on the French as part of the incoming tour in June, and most notably announced the new captain, Warren Whiteley, as the leader to take this young side back to the top. He has also announced a very strong SA A side to take on the on the French Barbarians around the same time. I am going to give my opinions on the squads as a whole, eventually coming to a personal starting 23 for each team based on their current form.