The biggest event in the Rugby Union calendar is the World Cup, it’s only contested every four years and in 2019 the event will be played in Japan. It will be the first time the tournament has been played in Asia and the first time it will be played in the same hemisphere in consecutive tournaments.
The event will take place between the 20th September and 2nd November in 12 different venues across Japan. The final will take place at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture. However, despite this being a tournament of firsts in terms of location, there is nothing new about the favourites to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy.
New Zealand travel to Japan as the defending champions. They have won the last two Rugby World Cup tournaments and are aiming to make it an unprecedented hattrick of titles. The All Blacks were the first team to win the Rugby World Cup back-to-back and it could be the first to win it three times in succession.
Having defeated Australia in the final of 2015 World Cup, New Zealand have played 42 Test Matches and come out on top 36 times. They have tasted defeat against Ireland (twice), the British and Irish Lions, South Africa and Australia.
The biggest challenge to New Zealand could come from the Six Nations. Ireland were strongly fancied to push them hard at the 2019 World Cup having defeated them twice in recent years. However, Ireland’s performance in the 2019 Six Nations was far from World Cup winning convincing…
Wales were the 2019 Six Nations winners and did so in style by claiming the Grand Slam. This will be Warren Gatland’s last tournament in charge of the Welsh team and they will be extremely motivated to go out on a high. Wales reached the semi-final of the World Cup in 2011 and will want to go one better in 2019.
Eddie Jones’ England also can’t be written off. Yes, they’re performances of late have been poor but we also know they’re capable of some magnificent rugby if they firing on all cylinders. Nevertheless, it is the All Blacks who are the favourites and it will take a very good performance from one the challengers to defeat them in Japan.