Who has the 'easy' route in the Rugby World Cup?

England Media Access

The World Cup has the potential to throw up all kinds of clash after the group stages have concluded, and we look at who could play who, and who has the 'easy' route to the final.

Pool A is the group of death, with England, Wales, Fiji and Australia fighting it out for qualification. It is vital to win this group, because the way the draw has manifested, the runner-up falls on the more treacherous side of the draw.

The second-placed side would face the winner of pool B which is likely to be South Africa. And South Africa will be confident of the quality they possess despite a poor 2015.

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Star Springbok fly-half Handre Pollard speaking yesterday said 'winning the World Cup is the only focus', clarifying their state of mind and desire to win.

And if the runners-up of pool A get through that tricky encounter, they would face the winner of pool C or the runner up of group D, which will most probably be the All Blacks and one of Ireland or France.

This is the side of the draw you should try and avoid, categorically.

On the opposite side of the draw, the winners of the group of death would face the runners-up of the Springbok pool. This could be Scotland, Samoa, Japan or the ever improving USA.

The bookmakers would put Samoa in pole position to clinch second, but Vern Cotter's Scotland side will be having other ideas.

The victors in this match would play the runner-up of New Zealand's pool, probably Argentina, and whoever fails to clinch the top spot in pool D out of Ireland or France.

Some would say a slightly easier route, but the confidence of sides who play on this side of the draw would be so much higher than if they had to play the Springboks and New Zealand.

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It all hangs in the balance currently, with group A holding the power to manipulate the draw and provide a massive spectacle before the final at Twickenham in a month's time.

I think qualification in this pool will be battled out by England and Australia, and neither will want to settle for a quarter-final with South Africa and then a Semi with the All Blacks.

All in all, I'd say for once the completion is very much up for grabs, and the likes of Ireland, England, Australia and France will be thinking that if they can avoid coming second, they will definitely be in with a shout.

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