The Rugby World Cup pools look promising! We can count down to some exciting matches in France in 2023. The pools for this tournament have been confirmed and some top teams meet each other in the group stage.
Host France plays against the title favorite New Zealand. World champion South Africa is challenged by two British opponents. And England seems to be the absolute favorite in their group.
Which other teams are favourites in their pool? Who’s going to be in trouble? And who can buy their tickets for the knockout phase already? Let’s take a look at the four pools of the Rugby World Cup France.
France was the first nation to be drawn, being the host of the tournament. They hope to receive a lot of support from fans in their own country, even more because they have a big game already in the group stage. They meet New Zealand, the top favourite for the title according to the bookmakers.
Based on their mutual history, it will be a tough challenge for France to beat The All Blacks. The countries played each other 61 times, of which New Zealand won 48 games and France twelve.
The third country in pool A is Italy, a side that never got passed the group stage and is currently ranked fourteenth on the world ranking. The group will be completed with two countries from the Americas and Africa that still need to qualify.
The current world champion South Africa will meet two British opponents in pool B. The competition with Ireland stands out. The Irish have developed well in recent years and were at the top of the world rankings in 2019. However, they stranded in the quarter finals of the last World Cup, where South Africa took the win.
It’s clear that South Africa and Ireland will compete for the first and second place. Scotland is the dark house in Pool B. They have a chance to continue to the next round if the can profit from mistakes of other.
The two additional countries from Asia Pacific and Europe can only hope they can keep up with these difficult opponents.
In this pool the two favourites for the next round are also clear: Wales and Australia are expected to finish first and second. Looking at their mutual history, Australia has won the most duels: thirty wins against twelve of Wales.
For years Australia won every game against Wales, but this series has been stopped. Their last meeting, in the group stage of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, was a spectacular match that ended in a 25-29 victory for Wales.
Fiji and two teams that still have to qualify, a European country and the last winner of the qualification, will be challenged to keep Wales and Australia from the top two places.
It looks like England has been lucky with their draw. The finalist of the previous World Cup will meet Japan, who normally don’t pass the group stage, and Argentina, against whom England normally wins. We think it’s safe to say that the fans of England can already book their tickets for the knockout phase.
Japan and Argentina will compete for the second place. They played each other once before at the Rugby World Cup in 1999. The final score was 33 – 12 in favor of the South Americans. Japan, however, made progress in recent years and during the last World Cup in their own country they passed the knockout round for the first time.
That’s going to be an interesting showdown for the second position in this pool.
The countries in the current Rugby World Cup pools were automatically qualified for Rugby World Cup 2023 based on the results of the World Cup 2019 in Japan. The groups will be completed with eight other countries, which will play a qualifying tournament per continent. They join the different pools according to the draw.
After the group matches, the two best teams from each group will advance to the knockout phase. Each winner of a pool plays the quarter finals against a number two from a different pool. The semi-finals will follow as the last stop before the final.
Eventually, on 21 October, two teams will decide who deserves the title of the Rugby World Cup France 2023.
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