Rugby World Cup 2023: a year away and still entirely unpredictable | Rugby union


M.It can change over the course of 12 months. Just ask Boris Johnson. Or, in fact, Vladimir Putin. Politics, like rugby union, benefits from assuming little. A year ago yellow and blue Ukrainian flags fluttered in every town in Britain, or Liz He who predicted Truss would be Britain’s next prime minister, they are being quietly escorted out of the building. It must have been.

That’s why the world’s major rugby nations shouldn’t assume anything a year from the 2023 Rugby World Cup. But if the French get hurt unexpectedly or the Parisian monsoon hits, put the chateau on it? Call it the truss effect. If the past two months have shown anything, it’s that rugby has rarely been volatile or predictable.

The top margin is also almost invisible. Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales have all had at least one win against a southern hemisphere nation within the last two months. But how much does it prove?Argentina she just beat New Zealand a week ago and the next week she lost by 50 points. The Wallabies toasted South Africa in Adelaide, but crushed Abbo seven days later in Sydney.

And remember South Africa’s zigzag journey to the 2019 title. In the end, they beat England in Yokohama with a spectacular victory. A year ago, it would have been a different story if there had been a similar team under the same manager. became.

When Siya Kolisi held the Webb Ellis trophy aloft, few people mentioned that small detail. Me, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina have all had their bad days, but the champagne moment in France cannot be ruled out.

why is that? The leaderboard has never been this dense, making it harder than ever for him to win seven on the bounce. Take England, perhaps drawn into the comfort pool, along with Argentina, Japan, Samoa and Chile. Which version of the Puma will come out? The warrior who was very defensive in Christchurch and scored his first test victory in New Zealand? Or is it a little less intimidating?

France's Antoine Dupont fends off England's tackler
Antoine Dupont’s fitness is crucial for France’s chances at the World Cup next year. Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The simple theory is that if England beat Argentina at Twickenham in November, it will likely do the same at Marseille next September. No argument would convince the passionate Agustin Creevey, former Puma captain who still hopes to qualify for the World Cup when he turns 38. The competition, which will be held in France, will be very different from the autumn internationals in southwest London.

“Playing in the World Cup brings a lot of emotions into your body that you don’t get in a ‘normal’ test match. The team that wins will be the one that has the most control over them. It will be an interesting game.”

Creevy isn’t just saying all this for effect. Having been around the block in both hemispheres, he is genuinely confident that Argentina will be a significantly stronger proposition within a year. say.

“We have a lot to develop, but the young boy we have is great. We are not perfect – Scrum has a lot of work to do – but we are I want to be the best version of us.I’m optimistic.We just need to believe and trust ourselves.”

To be fair, Home Union would have said something similar. Keep Johnny Sexton on the field and after his tour of the great New Zealand Ireland can dream big. Imagine Wales with the best players. Or Scotland turns promises into consistent results. Or England will finally settle on the best, most effective combination: they have him ranked fifth in the world and will need to find some extra gear this fall.

Sitting in Ellis Park last week watching me tackle the All Blacks, Eddie Jones understood the physical and mental intensity required to overtake the two nations that have won the last four World Cups. You will have been reminded of

In that sense, England’s matchup against the All Blacks in November will be a useful barometer of their current status. Not oblivious to Ardi Savea’s continued influence, or the threat of Rieko Ioane’s attack, which seemed deadly against the puma in Hamilton. No-frills, straighter runs, more energy…even the non-vintage New Zealand team looks decent when playing with the ball on the front foot.

Irish Johnny Sexton.
Irish Johnny Sexton. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile/Getty Images

However, no one can guarantee that France 2023 will go as well as expected. Old-fashioned luck always does its job. Especially when it comes to keeping key playmakers healthy. No one wants to see France without Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamac. Unfortunately, we have the great Racing 92 center Birimi Bakatawa, who is already likely to be a non-runner.

Top high-profile mods can also be transformative. Joe Schmidt and Michael Cheika are already back on the dancefloor, hoping to get a leg up on their former employers. the only certainty? The 2023 Rugby World Cup will be a competition like no other.


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