We take a look at the five teams that are heading into the 2015 Rugby World Cup with little fanfare despite having the potential to cause some upsets…
The last year has been one the Springboks will be keen to forget after defeats to Ireland and Wales at the back end of 2014 were compounded by a whitewash in the Rugby Championship. This poor run of form has seen them slip under the radar somewhat and head into the tournament without too much hype. If they can get key players fit and firing though then they have the potential to go all the way.
Until recently Wales were being touted as one of the genuine contenders for the Rugby World Cup this year as they looked to go at least one stage further than in 2011. Injuries to several key players however quickly put a stop to this and saw many fans writing off their chances before the tournament even began. Despite being in the toughest pool at the tournament though, Wales still possess the quality to make a mark on the tournament.
A Six Nations whitewash was hardly a morale booster for Scotland ahead of the Rugby World Cup. Since then however, Glasgow have gone on to claim the Pro12 title, whilst Edinburgh contested the European Challenge Cup final. It’s going to be tough for Scotland at the World Cup, however they are heading into the tournament as underdogs and could well relish the tag causing a few upsets along the way.
In the build up to the World Cup, all the talk has been over whether it will be which two of Australia, England and Wales will make it out of the ‘group of death’. This has seen most fans write Fiji off before the tournament has even begun despite their recent success in the Pacific Nations Cup. There’s no doubting Fiji have a monumental task to overcome, but there is the quality in the team to perhaps sneak second place in the group.
There’s no escaping the fact that Les Bleus have been absolutely dire over the last couple of years under Philippe St Andre. However, what many forget is that the team at the 2011 Rugby World Cup started the tournament in similar disarray yet made it to the final where they only lost out to hosts New Zealand by a handful of points. Frankly, you write France off at your own peril as many teams have already realised.