Kiwi journalist, Gregor Paul, is of the opinion there are only two real contenders in Japan next year – The AB’s and Ireland.
Gregor, who writes for the New Zealand Herald, says that these two teams are the most habitual “all of the time winners” and that is why he backs one of them to come out on top in next years Rugby World Cup. He then went on to group South Africa, England and Scotland as “sometimes winners” whilst he claimed that Wales were a “false” third place ranking in the World Rugby Rankings.
The Journalist said:
“There are two teams at this juncture that are habitual, all of the time winners. They are the All Blacks and Ireland and right now, they are the only two teams who stack as credible likely World Cup winners next year.
The latter came into the last two World Cups as classic sometimes winners. No one got up like Ireland and yet no one collapsed as hard the following week either. But since the last World Cup, we have seen a new Ireland – a team whose belief in what they are doing is matched by their understanding.
The old Ireland loved going close, but the new Ireland knows what it takes to finish a test with victory and their record says they are habitual winners. Their record suggests they can win three big games in a row.”
Recent Rugby Championship results (where South Africa beat the AB’s and Los Pumas beat Australia) surely prove that what Paul is saying has no reasoning and that anyone can beat anyone – especially with the added pressure of ‘World Cup Rugby’.