Matt Dawson column: England join All Blacks and South Africa in Rugby World Cup top tier


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Shortly before 11:00 BST on Saturday, 2 November, we will have the responses.
The identity of this skipper beneath cloud and the William Webb Ellis trophy of tickertape from Yokohama.
The destinations of the flights that have headed home from Japan.
The guys who have become the sport faces for its athletic mainstream.
But, for the time being, with less than 48 hours before Japan and Russia match in the first match of the tournament, the Rugby World Cup is posing concerns.
Rugby World Cup winner in 2003, former England scrum-half Matt Dawson, is calling them during the tournament in the first of his BBC Sport columns.
The closer we get to the tournament, the more I fancy England. They are at a trio of contenders with South Africa and New Zealand.
They’ve a fantastic squad with power in depth across each place. What’s especially striking is their raft of that can get them and provide them a foothold in almost any game.
Maro Itoje kyle Sinckler, George Kruis, Billy Vunipola, Manu Tuilagi and the power of Joe Cokanasiga can set up wave.
When they come up against a group which can fit them or compel them to alter approach on the 26, the matter will come.
Are their primary leaders – that the amount eight and half-backs – capable change direction and totally to huddle together?
We have noticed this England side struggle to place the opposition out or shut the match out.
Scotland beat England from 31-0 down in March. Wales came from seven points down at half-time to win in February. New Zealand did exactly the same out of 15 points back.
If they are to go all the way They’ll have to be clinical in games.
Together with the chance of New Zealand or South Africa I do not believe that they can make the semi-finals, although ireland come into the tournament as the best club in the world in the ranks.
They played soccer between a year and 18 months back, driven in a large part scrum-half Conor Murray by hooker Rory Best and fly-half Jonny Sexton.
For some reason, these three aren’t currently firing on all cylinders as well as their set-piece is wobbling . Secure ball from scrum or line-out is essential for establishing the foundation of how you want to perform .
They will escape their team and the stage big-game pedigree European competition will lift them has been revealed in by the Irish states but they are not in my top three or four sides to win the tournament.
Scotland, who discuss their group will fancy their odds of beating Ireland about the coming weekend and also topping Pool A.
They will feel they’ve got a pack that is mobile, ambitious half-back pairing, an inventive and a great deal of expertise upsetting the odds.
Whether that’s enough to receive them any farther than the previous eight though…
Wales are intriguing.
Their primary issue will be around their strength in depth.
For one-off games, where everybody is healthy, they will challenge anyone.
They’ve a clutch of gamers – Jonathan Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Liam Williams – that are sensational and a row which, in their day, can be as physical as anyone in the world.
With Shaun Edwards and Warren Gatland they have among the training on the touchlines.
I worked during my time with Wasps together and you will find not any better in tailoring a gameplan to conquer a opposition. They are adept at doing.
One of their challenges will be protecting their line-up that is starting through a pool campaign. They have full-bore Tests against Australia and Fiji, which they will be desperate to win to get a draw that is better.
They don’t possess a Dan Carter and Richie McCaw however they have experience of winning a method of playing that tournament and a culture that is among the best on earth.
They have lost a few matches lately, however their reply contrary to Australia and Tonga indicated they’re locked in to World Cup style.
They would still be my selection, When I had to select 1 team to win it. They have a mixture of firepowerstrength in depth and expertise that’s a really potent mix.
They slipped to sixth in the world ranks and had won only 11 of their previous 25 Tests when Allister Coetzee abandoned his post in February 2018 as South Africa coach.
But Rassie Erasmus has come in and shaken up that the politics refocusing on eliminating the banning of overseas-based players and winning.
He has coached ever since and retired as a participant, and I believe he keeps that compassion with the room.
Game that Erasmus instilled throughout his year in Munster’s type matches nicely with the mind – grand when it must be but with an edge that is attritional.
His distinctive style of play will cause other groups targeting him, although faf de Klerk is a superbly active, incisive scrum-half. He has tendencies that he repeats.
Their novelty was a part of what has made him effective so far, but there will back rows study the video tapes and laying some cubes for him. It could be a difficult championship for him.
If Erasmus keep a lid will help him through and build momentum throughout the effort, they will take a while quitting.
After England’s disappointing effort in 2015, this might be the World Cup in which Owen Farrell catches his chance to show himself as a celebrity that is global.
Cokanasiga could be a superstar for England when he gets a opportunity.
Richie Mo’unga has made five starts for the All Blacks, but seems set to begin in fly-half for the defending champions. My former half-back spouse and fellow 5 Live analyst Paul Grayson rates him highly. He’s got individual skills, fantastic eyesight and better kicking at stats than Beauden Barrett that is team-mate plus he’s an unselfish team player.
New Zealand possess a custom of uncovering a wing before string or a significant tournament.
The 2015 World Cup lit up, Sitiveni Sivivatu was superb at the show triumph over the Lions in 2005, his debut was made by Joe Rokocoko four months prior to the 2003 World Cup.
George Bridge and sevu Reece are equally wings who could be prepared to do something like this.
In all honesty, I really don’t see a downside. I think it is a great decision.
The matches aren’t in prime days for a few of the television markets, however they are brunch and breakfast time here in Europe and people’s programs will fit fine.
It is possible to see the excitement on the floor. Fifteen thousand people turned out to visit Wales train and a high proportion of the tickets are sold. The host nation and the prospect of going somewhere new has adopted it.
If anything I believe of taking the tournament to territory that is fresh to attempt to break new ground for your sport, the plan is going to be replicated.
The USA has to be on World Rugby’s hit list. Maybe a South {tournament|champion

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