The Land of the Rising Sun is set to host the most closely-contested Rugby World Cup in history, setting the stage for unrivalled drama and excitement when the competition kicks off on September 20, writes Quintin van Jaarsveld.
Twenty teams will converge on Japan to vie for the most coveted prize in the game, the Webb Ellis Cup – a golden symbol of excellence reserved for only the truly great teams.
The ninth edition of the quadrennial global showpiece is set to be the most open yet, with defending champions New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Wales, Ireland and England all entering as legitimate title contenders.
It’s the world in union, and it’s bound to thrill as the tournament touches down in Asia for the first time ever. With anticipation mounting, we continue our tournament preview with a breakdown of Pool B.
Pool B: Canada, Italy, Namibia, New Zealand, South Africa
Who will top Pool B? That’s the big question as the All Blacks and Springboks all but have the quarterfinal places on lock.
It’s a potentially tournament-defining distinction as whichever of the two Southern Hemisphere giants top the pool will sidestep a tough last-eight encounter against Ireland, who are expected to boss Pool A.