RWC 2015: Pool D preview

2015-09-18 11:39
Frederic Michalak (Getty)

Pool D is an intriguing one, with half of the Six Nations contenders grouped together in the form of Ireland, France and Italy.

RWC 2015: Pool A preview

RWC 2015: Pool B preview

RWC 2015: Pool C preview

RWC 2015: Fixtures


World ranking – 6

Best WC – QFs (1987, 1991, 1995, 2003, 2011)

Remarkably, Ireland have appeared in five World Cup quarter-finals without ever progressing to the last four. They should have no trouble moving into to the knockouts in 2015, where a date with either New Zealand or Argentina is most likely. The Irish are considered the tournament’s dark horses by many. Could this be their year?


World ranking – 7

Best WC – Runners-up (1987, 1999, 2011)

The French are always a factor at Rugby World Cups, and if they finish second in their group then a tasty quarter-final against the All Blacks is on the cards. Their form over the last year has not been anywhere near title-contending standards, but they will take heart from wins over England and Scotland in their last two internationals.


World ranking – 14

Best WC – Pool stages (1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011)

Is this the year that the Italians can finally get out of the pool stages? Their lowly world ranking - which puts them behind the likes of Tonga, Samoa and Japan – suggests not. They will have to beat either Ireland or France to progress and shouldn’t have any problems getting past Canada and Romania.


World ranking – 18

Best WC – QFs (1991)

When South Africans think of Canada at the Rugby World Cup images of James Dalton come to mind. Back then Canada were actually considered a combative force in world rugby, and they proved that by making it to the quarter-finals in 1991. But they have struggled to build on that momentum since then. They will back themselves against Italy, but will struggle to challenge France and Ireland.


World ranking – 17

Best WC – Pool stages (1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011)

Romania have been ever-present at the tournament, and have actually won a few matches along the way. But they are yet to move past out of group stages, and will not threaten to do so in 2015. 

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