The Rugby World Cup is just nine days away and will see 20 nations all flood to Japan with hopes of lifting the William Webb Ellis Cup on November 2.
New Zealand are the current holders, winning the tournament back in 2015 as England were the hosts, only to be knocked out in the group stages.
But lots has happened between World Cups, and as odds suggest, any number of teams could take home the crown.
WalesOnline.com have taken it upon themselves to try predict the entire event.
Pool A includes two of the Home Nations in Ireland and Scotland, who are also joined by hosts Japan, Russia and Samoa.
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They predict that it will be the two Home Nations that go through, with Ireland as group winners and Japan being edged out by Gregor Townsend’s Scotland.
Pool B hosts the pre-tournament favourites New Zealand and joint second favourites South Africa; joining the two titans in pool B are Italy, Namibia and Canada.
Barring some big shocks, the All Blacks and the Springboks should comfortably breeze through the group and they’re predicting that South Africa top the group.
Pool C plays host to England, France, USA, Tonga and Argentina.
If England are to add to their single World Cup coming in 2003 they need to play much better than they did four years ago and they’re predicted much better.
They’re putting England through as group winners and France as the runners-up in the pool.
Pool D sees the final five teams; Wales, Australia, Georgia, Fiji and Uruguay.
There are no major shocks predicted from this group with Wales predicted to win the group and Australia coming in second.
The first quarter-final predicts England will face the Wallabies; England have beaten them in their last six outings and are predicted to have a safe passage through to the semis.
Pool B winners South Africa will face Pool C runners-up Scotland and it’s predicted that the Springboks will find their way through their quarter.
Wales are predicted to knock France out of the tournament in the third quarter-final.
The final quarter sees Ireland take on the All Blacks, but it’s at this stage that it’s predicted the Irish will be heading home, New Zealand’s squad depth simply too good.
England would then go on to play South Africa in the first semi-final in what would be a very physical affair.
The Boks team is deemed to be too strong for England and they’re predicted to go through to the final.
The second semi-final consists of Wales and New Zealand; and this is as far as the Welsh are predicted to go, the All Blacks romping into the final.
The most pointless game in sport, the third place play-off, would see Wales and England face off before their flight home.
England’s depth is predicted to see them through.
So if all if correct, November 2 will see New Zealand and South Africa face off in the first World Cup final in Asia.
And it’s a Springbok victory that WalesOnline have gone for; whilst also commenting that either team could go on to win it and it would be a classic game.News Now - Sport News