Rugby World Cup: Pool A preview

Countries competing (current IRB ranking in brackets):

Australia (2)
England (4)
Fiji (9)
Uruguay (19)
Wales (5)

Every tournament throws up the well known cliche of ‘The Group of Death’ and at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, it is definitely Group A, featuring 3 of the current top 5 teams of the world and 4 of the top 10; only 2 can qualify. The games between Australia, England and Wales will be seen as the key, but Fiji will be ready to spring a shock result on any of those three who take them lightly. I think that England have a very tricky opening fixture in playing Fiji on opening night and the danger for England is a shock result like that sprung on France by Argentina in 2007. It is difficult to see how Uruguay will get a victory or even be in the position to get a result against four strong nations. I think that the key game will be Australia V Wales and will decide who will qualify alongside England. I think that Australia will win that game – they have a good recent record against Wales (the victories have often been narrow, but they always seem to find a way to beat Wales), who have lost a couple of key players through injury in Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb. I predict the group will look like this:

1. England
2. Australia
3. Wales
4. Fiji
5. Uruguay.

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