Rugby World Cup 2015: Pool A Preview – Three giants go toe-to-toe
The fateful ‘Pool Of Death’ in this year’s Rugby World Cup, Pool A is set to be an exciting affair as hosts England join Wales, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay in looking to make it to the quarter-finals.
Three of the world’s top five ranked teams go head-to-head here and one must fall by the wayside. The hosts are the favourites to top the pool at 4/5, while the number two ranked Aussies are 7/4, leaving Wales as the outsiders to clinch top spot at 5/1.
The injury to Leigh Halfpenny has seriously hindered the Welsh’s chances of progression and without one of the world’s best goal kickers, Warren Gatland’s side could be the side who meet their end early on in this gruesome looking pool.
NATIONS: ENGLAND, AUSTRALIA, WALES, FIJI, URUGUAY
FIRST GAME: ENGLAND V FIJI – SEPT 18TH
FAVS: ENGLAND @ 4/5
OUTSIDERS: WALES @ 5/1
NO-HOPERS: URUGUAY @ 1000/1
Look out for: Sam Burgess
Slammin’ Sam has been lamented and praised in equal measure ahead of this tournament and his displays will be scrutinised more than others. The former league man has the big hits and the power to break the line and if he gets it right he could silence the critics this autumn.
Look out for: Israel Folau
Another man from the rival code, Folau has become more of a legend in union than he ever was in league, which is some feat considering he’s only been playing for three years. He became the first man to ever win the John Eales Medal in consecutive years in 2015 and now has his chances on the biggest stage.
Look out for: Their clash with Australia
It is likely that England will top this group, well they’re the favourites at least, so the meeting of the Wallabies and the Welsh will be pivotal in this pool. Warren Gatland’s men have won just one of their last 15 matches against the Aussies.
Look out for: Nemani Nadolo
The Crusaders powerhouse has all the potential to light up this tournament and has been branded Jonah Lomu-esque. He’s fast, strong and kicks for goals too. Nadolo will thrill the masses, even if it’s just for the pool stages.
Look out for: Their points against column
The Uruguayans have been handed a nightmare draw in this pool and could get a hammering in every game they play. They’re an amateur side up against the world’s best and that is unlikely to end well for their defence.
SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT
Burgess is up for his biggest challenge
Halfpenny reveals World Cup heartbreak
— Leigh Halfpenny (@LeighHalfpenny1) September 9, 2015
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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