The Rugby World Cup is set to kick off on Friday with Japan taking on Russia at the Tokyo Stadium. Twenty nations will fight it out for the Webb Ellis cup during the six-week tournament.
There will be twelve host stadiums and Chapman Freeborn’s 2019 Rugby World Cup interactive map gives key information on the venues and with more than 400,000 visitors expected, it provides information on the stadiums nearest airports.
The tournament this year is wide-open, so which of our home nations has the biggest chance of winning? Here, we’ll look at the four home teams and how they’re likely to fare when they get to Japan.
Out of the four home nations, England appear to have the best chance of success. While some players such as Joe Launchbury and Kyle Sinckler were forced off the pitch with injury during Italy’s game, the coach is confident they’ll be fit for the World Cup. The entire team is reportedly set to be injury free, plus they have secured numerous comfortable wins in the lead-up to the tournament. Although they suffered a defeat to Wales in the warm-ups, they still remain more likely to win the overall tournament.
Usually one of the strongest teams, Wales has suffered a lot of injury troubles this season. Top players Gareth Anscombe and Taulupe Faletau are both ruled out of the entire tournament due to injuries. The team’s performance has also lacked in warm up games, with a loss to Ireland being one of their most worrying defeats. However, prior to the warm-up games, the team had experienced a 14-streak win, so they certainly shouldn’t be ruled out as potential winners.
Ireland come pretty close to England in terms of warm-up performance. Although they were beaten pretty comprehensively by England at Twickenham, the team went on to beat Wales back-to-back. There’s a couple of injury worries, with Dan Leavy suffering a long-term injury. However, overall the team’s chances of victory in Japan are still pretty good.
Out of the four home nation teams, Scotland are the most difficult to predict. They did suffer a major loss to France in the warm-ups. However, like the Welsh team, they have managed to pull this back with a couple of more impressive wins. The coach has five players who could be injured for the games, so this is a blow to the team’s chances. However, they could certainly surprise us with a win in the tournament.
From early predictions, it looks as though England and Ireland stand the best chances of success at the Rugby World Cup. However, like any sporting event, there could always be a few surprises that crop up throughout the tournament.