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Top Contenders for the 2015 Rugby World Cup

JS44834867With the Rugby World Cup only 10 weeks away, we’ve decided to pick out the top teams we think have the best chance of lifting the cup on October 31st. Read on for our verdict on their respective strengths and weaknesses and how they will fare come game time.

England – With home ground advantage playing a factor in any rugby game, the World Cup will be no different and as such, England gets that edge. Along with this advantage, the 2015 England squad also boasts with real depth. The team has an incredibly strong front five as well as a dangerous back three. The midfielders are a point of concern as there is a lack of experience especially among the selected halfbacks.

Key player: Joe Launchbury. Launchbury epitomizes the modern-day lock – rangy, athletic and powerful with the speed of an openside flanker. England will rely on his power to carry them past the group stages.

New Zealand – The defending champions once again enter the tournament as overwhelming favorites to retain the trophy. The depth and character of the New Zealand squad is unrivaled with dangermen like Julian Savea and Ma’a Nonu in the form of their lives. With experienced veterans in key positions and possibly the best back-row in the world, New Zealand will definitely be the force to be reckoned with in October.

Key player: Julian Savea. 30 tries in 33 international tests? ‘Nuff said.

Australia – The Wallabies are a force in any tournament, with the necessary temperament and collective will to fight through difficult matches. In the past, they’ve scraped through encounters they didn’t deserve to win, notably beating South Africa in a Quarter-Final in 2011 having been outplayed the entire 80 minutes.

All Wallabies sides have one thing in common though: a desire to attack with running rugby. That might yet prove crucial should they walk away as holders of the William Web Ellis trophy.

Key player:  Israel Folau. Forever on the look-out for openings and with the multi-layered ability to take full advantage of any opportunity, definitely a threat to any team.

South Africa – The 2007 world champions will be hungry for another bite at the cherry but with so many injury woes, the Springboks will have to dig deep to compete with the likes of Australia and the All Blacks. At top strength, however, South Africa can potentially stand toe-to-toe with the best, and come out on top.

Key Player: Duane Vermeulen. With his incredibly direct approach, Vermeulen will be the frontline of South Africa’s attack and will certainly play a crucial role in the Bok’s chances at glory. Provided he is fit, that is.

Agree, disagree? Have your say.

author: Zone Fitness