Rugby World Cup Preview

Wednesday, 18 Sep, 2019

South Africa, who reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2015 despite a stunning loss to Japan in their opening game, have just returned from a heat camp in Kagoshima, southern Japan, where several players shed kilos in weight. New Zealand are due to announce their line-up on Thursday for Saturday's game, with weather forecasters predicting a wet weekend in Yokohama.

Dyantyi won World Rugby's rising star award at the World Rugby Awards in December, earning acclaim for bursting on to the Test scene with a threatening mix of pace, power and sharp finishing.

"We know how crucial it is but within the waste our goal is to focal point on the opposition that we're playing".

Gosper also backed tournament referees to apply the rules consistently and fairly, after World Rugby's refereeing chief, Alain Rolland, warned players Monday that they will be given yellow and red cards for high tackles without hesitation.

"The World Rugby Council awarded the Rugby World Cup to Japan because we believed that it could be a powerful game-changer for sporting and social change in Asia, the world's most populous and youthful continent and the success of the Impact Beyond programme is a very important step on the journey". With a particularly easy group in Italy, Canada and Namibia (baring South Africa) there will be plenty of scoring chances available.

"I hope a lot of the matches will be engraved in the history of the game".

See below for a full preview on each pool with Ben Hampshire...

"With Scotland first, there's no time to play ourselves into the World Cup".

The build-up to the tournament hit a hurdle when the 'Ikale Tahi - as Tonga's national rugby union team is known - were thrashed 92-7 by two-time defending champions New Zealand in Hamilton earlier this month.

Wilkinson said setbacks in his career made him the player he was - one of England's all-time greats - and challenged Sheppey to do the same.

That will likely be whoever loses between Ireland and Scotland.

The decision follows after leading coaches of various teams slammed the current limit of 31 players which they feel is not sufficient considering the importance of the tournament and player welfare in mind.

Tonga are the lowest ranked side in Pool C, drawn alongside France, Argentina and the US as well as England.

Held once every four years since 1987, rugby union's elite worldwide tournament has grown in stature with each edition, and produced star players such as David Campese (Australia), Jonny Wilkinson (England) and Richie McCaw (New Zealand).

England World Cup victor Jonny Wilkinson.

But, at this stage, are the Boks paying any attention whatsoever to who they could meet in the last eight?