New Zealand: 9th September - 23rd October
It's less than 2 weeks to go!
Here's a cute Lego cartoon to get you in the mood:
Lego Rugby World Cup
I'll be shouting for Ireland as usual. Although I think it will be more a case of shouting at Ireland.
Too old, too injured to get very far I fear.
All Blacks should be too strong and are aware of there lack of WC success and will be wnating to put it right.
Austrian? I didn't know they were playing, Cake!
I think NZ will do it this time as losing the Tri-Nations will be a wake-up call for them.
Ireland have been v. unlucky with injuries, felt so sorry for Paddy Wallace in the last game. I think they may struggle to qualify
I expect France to be absolutely squished by NZ as revenge for '99 and '07. They will then play England in the QF where they will lose, in the rain, again
But until then - ALLEZ LES BLEUS!!!
ALL BLACKS anything else just isn't rugby
Reminds me of Dumb and Dumber. "I'm From Austria" - "G'day mate, slap another prawn on the barbie"
England - Probably not as far as I'd like
It will never be the Bottlers year.
No, I will be at my rugby club. You can't beat it.
I think the Aussies will have it, the Saffers have one game and struggle to change it when that doesn't work. Les Bleus will be magnificent. And then fall apart dramatically when it really matters. The All Blacks will go out in the quarters with a whimper, along with Wales and Ireland. Scotland may as well save the fare and hotel by staying at home. Argintina are no longer a surprise when they do well. Italy could pull off a shock or two, but it won't be enough. One of the outsiders will get into the quarters and everyone will support them, as long as it's not their team they're playing of course!
All Blacks. Two losses staged by the management without telling the players to ensure they remove the regular overconfidence that plagues them going into the World Cup as favourites. Shame they couldn't have come up North for a strategic loss, but they'd never lower themselves to that, or reduce the mystique that surrounds the Tri-Nations teams. (Wow, Argentina are going to be coming up and doing Grand Slams of the Isles in a few years!)
I'll be supporting Wales passionately for their four matches, and then probably have to switch to supporting France. Definitely in the pub early doors, miss what would have been a decent sermon probably including references to David and Goliath, but back for Sunday Roast...
BTW, ITV4 are doing a series of Rugby World Cup programmes with Lawrence Dallaglio and Craig Doyle. There was a good one on NZ on Monday night and there's another one scheduled for tonight at 9pm.
Good luck for your Ironman, FB!
Good luck in that Ironman Wales, FB! Strangely I believe we might have the measure of SA, who are basically the same curate's egg (but with green bits instead of red) and we'll be throwing all our fit players in. By the time we play Namibia we'll have no regular first team players left, and then Fiji will deliver the coup de grace to our second string. So you'll be hearing a lot of cheering news for an hour or so of your stupidly long bike ride which I don't envy you, though I really envy you that finishing feeling!
Cake, yeah, I think we do, but you need good rugby and strong rugby. If you don't have both, I'd rather have strong rugby. But it is boring...
Wyn-Jones needs to shine somewhere before he can shine on a world stage. He's not in a good year. Bit like Ryan Jones a couple back. Charteris might not be the perfect complement in the way Gough was. Warburton is going to be challenging for the top spot and SA will be very interesting for him. A glut of 10s at the moment, but the 9s are a little off and we're short of 12s and 15s. Pack is good, if not strong, but weaker at 2, 6 and 8 even though there's a wealth of back row players. We need our top props to stay fit or we're stuffed.
England need decisions made right across the backs, and not just at centre, so I don't know why everyone focuses there. Scotland need some players to turn up at rugby clubs around the country. Ireland need to just put out either the Munster or Leinster teams and stop mixing them up.
Can't see anyone beating New Zealand this time; they really look too good.
Australia seem to have sorted out their scrum, so should be very competitive.
South Africa will do well, but they seem to have come off worst from the Tri-Nations; they need to improve to win it.
No idea what Martin Johnson's messing about at; there really is lots of English-qualified backs talent in the Premiership, but england loook no further forward in finding a midfield combination than they've been for years...and without that, our exciting back three won't see enough of the ball to win.
Ireland must be worried. They're in no sort of form.
Wales have been going ok and should have a good tournament (but they're not going to win it)
I've seen Argentina v. Wales then their second string v. Worcester; they weren't very good in either game; their much-vaunted forward power seemed sadly lacking (and Worcester stuffed 'em up front)
Not really seen anything of the others, so I'll (unusually) keep my big mouth shut...
Mad Marc Lievremont will be stepping down after the RWC and Philippe Saint-Andre will be taking over:
New French Coach
Always liked him as a player and I think he did an OK job at Sale? It will be interesting to see if he's more consistent with his team selection or he pulls names out of a hat the way ML seemed to!
Ahh, my French didn't get much further than 1st year of A level at evening class, FB
Le singe est dans l'arbre
3 sleeps to go
Boss at work is a rugby fan so I'll be able to watch some of the build-up and match on Friday
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