Heavyweights will have to hit the ground running if they are to set themselves on the ideal paths to possible Rugby World Cup glory this weekend, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.
After four long years, in which the balance of power has spread beyond the Southern Hemisphere, the time has finally come for rugby’s showpiece tournament.
The 2019 edition promises to be worth the wait and will be kick-started in the most thrilling of ways – with key clashes that will shape the course of history over the next several weeks.
It’s high stakes straight out of the shoot with two virtual pool deciders and a crunch Pool of Death duel topping the bill in the opening batch of fixtures. But first, hosts Japan kick-off the action against Pool A rivals Russia at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo on Friday.
As the official betting partner of Superbru.com, we look at the eight encounters that make up Superbru’s opening round.