What are England’s chances of winning Rugby World Cup 2019?
Following a difficult 6 Nations and summer tour in South Africa, and with England falling further down international rugby’s world rankings, you’d be forgiven if flashbacks of Rugby World Cup 2015 started coming to mind with just over a year left before the tournament returns in Japan. At one time England were labelled as potential winners, but recent form has suggested it might not be so straightforward.
However, it’s not as dire as one might think. In fact with a bit of luck there is no reason why Eddie Jones’ men can’t make it all the way to the final.
England’s first bit of ‘luck’ comes in the way the competition is set up. England will be avoiding the power houses of the All Blacks, South Africa and Ireland until the semi finals. Instead, England will face France and Argentina, who also are in questionable form, in the pool stages with the possibility of a hit or miss Wales in the quarter final – all games they should come out on top of.
STH Live has broken down England’s chances of exiting their pool all the way through to making it to the final of the biggest sporting event of 2019.
England have a leisurely start to Rugby World Cup 2019 with Tonga up first, a team who have only won four out of their 27 Rugby World Cup matches and none against a tier one nation. In reality, Tonga will likely look at their last three games as their chance to exit the pool. Following on from Tonga, England have another ‘easy’ game against an improving United States, who have a similar record as Tonga with three wins from 25 World Cup matches and are currently ranked 15th in the world.
The tournament from here on in will basically be all ‘must win’ games with Argentina and France up next. While Argentina always have a lot of promise they never quite fulfil it, and with a side in decline our prediction is that 2019 will likely be another year Argentina don’t leave the pool, although we know lesser teams can cause an upset after the famous Japan victory versus South Africa in 2015.
While the French have the ability to beat anyone in the World Cup (just look at the 1999 and 2007 tournaments), they aren’t quite firing and the current squad is nowhere near as threatening as the team that was a missed penalty away from winning Rugby World Cup 2011. France are likely to leave the pool stage but second to England, leaving them with a much tougher battle against Australia in the quarter-finals, which will highly likely be a bridge too far for the Les Bleus.
Our predictions for the England pool games are below – do you think we have these right?
- England 47 – 12 Tonga
- England 52 – 8 USA
- England 27 – 15 Argentina
- England 24 – 17 France
All going to plan England will be top of Pool C. This will see them face the runner up of Pool D, which again ‘all going to plan’ will most likely be Wales who are basically guaranteed to be in the quarter-finals considering the teams in their pool. Wales have always put up a good battle in previous World Cups but, like Argentina, they are resigned to being the bridesmaid and never the bride. While this squad is improving it isn’t nearly as attractive as the 2011 squad, which was a dubious decision away from meeting the All Blacks in the finals.
STH Live prediction:
- England 17 – Wales 9
Here is where a pessimist might see the wheels falling off the England bandwagon, and they might be right, but after a 2018 we would rather forget we suspect Eddie Jones and his squad have learned from the experience and could return to the final for the first time since 2007. The All Blacks have won all three encounters against England in Rugby World Cups (1991, 1995 and 1999), and with England only defeating the All Blacks once since 2003 the bookies will be leaning heavily on an All Blacks win. However, that is not to say that with a bit more luck and maybe an injured Barrett or two, plus a red card (circa the 2017 Lions Test), England could pull off quite the upset. We do not think it will be easy for England if the teams meet in Japan, but if they shut down the All Blacks attack and turn the battle to one of trench warfare – keeping the ball tight and kicking for goal, then in all likelihood Owen Farrell WILL out kick Beauden Barrett.
STH Live prediction:
England 21 – All Blacks 19
For our final prediction the ‘what if’ machine is working overtime. Are the likes of South Africa or Scotland (or even Japan) going to topple current number one and two in the world New Zealand and Ireland? Or will the rugby gods bless us with a colossal final where world number one and two battle it out? Being realistic and based on current and past form we can see Ireland taking out South Africa and then Australia in the quarters and semis respectively, and if our predictions are right England could very well meet them there, for the first ever all-Northern Hemisphere final.
We’re not going to make a prediction for the final but would instead love to know what you think. Can England win their second Rugby World Cup? With just over a year to go before we see Rugby World Cup 2019 kick-off, STH can ensure you have the best seats available at all of England’s games. You have to be there to bask in the passion, excitement and unity that only Rugby World Cup can provide.