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Rugby World Cup 2015 Predictions

As a rugby union fan it is hard not to get overexcited about the forthcoming Rugby World Cup in England & Wales this coming Autumn. Like a child before Christmas, I have started analysing the potential results a full four months early, and my predictions are below. For those who are concerned at my selections, I have shown my workings! Feel free to challenge me in the comments below. Be polite!

POOL A: AUSTRALIA  |  ENGLAND  |  FIJI |  URUGUAY |  WALES
Home nations to triumph due to crowd support, Wales to beat England (England, under massive pressure of expectation, don’t perform well) both to beat Australia, who will go out.

POOL B: SOUTH AFRICA  |  SAMOA  |  JAPAN  |  SCOTLAND  |  USA
A Tough match between Samoa & Scotland will see the Scots triumph and qualify behind South Africa.

POOL C: NEW ZEALAND  |  ARGENTINA  |  TONGA  |  GEORGIA  |  NAMIBIA
Easiest group by far, NZ to win, Argentina second.

POOL D: FRANCE  |  IRELAND  |  ITALY  |  CANADA  |  ROMANIA
If anyone is vulnerable here it is France, their game with Italy is crucial, but I think Ireland will win the group and France will beat Italy to come second.

QUARTER FINALS:
QF1: SOUTH AFRICA v ENGLAND (Winner Pool B v Runner-up Pool A)
England to pull out all the flair and beat South Africa at Twickenham.
QF2: NEW ZEALAND v FRANCE (QF2: Winner Pool C v Runner-up Pool D)
New Zealand to walk all over a poor French side who don’t turn up.
QF3: IRELAND v ARGENTINA (QF3: Winner Pool D v Runner-up Pool C)
Ireland to edge Argentina in a brutal game in Cardiff.
QF4: WALES v SCOTLAND (QF4: Winner Pool A v Runner-up Pool B)
Wales to grind out a win against Scotland.

SEMI FINALS
SF1: ENGLAND v NEW ZEALAND (SF1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF2)
Best game of the tournament sees a rejuvenated England edge New Zealand at Twickenham in a 60 point thriller. 
SF2: IRELAND v WALES SF2: Winner QF3 v Winner QF4
None of the attacking flair of the first semi final but an absorbing, quality game of rugby sees Wales continue their 6 nations form over Ireland and reach the final.

3RD PLACE PLAY OFF: IRELAND v NEW ZEALAND
Deflated Ireland will succumb to a fired up, cross, point to prove New Zealand Side.

FINAL: ENGLAND v WALES
This has to be the game that everyone wants in the final? The old enemies at Twickenham, an all Northern hemisphere final, fresh from a group game involving the same two sides. Will England gain revenge for their group defeat or will Wales’ semi-final defeat from the last World Cup stand them in good stead against a relatively inexperienced England side. It is too close to call, neither is as consistent as they should be… 

WINNERS: too close to call… Wales… England… my heart says Wales, my head says England…

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