Can anybody stop the All Blacks in The Land of The Rising Sun?
September sees the Rugby World Cup head to Asia for the first time as Japan plays host to the ninth version of the sport’s most prestigious event.
Perennial favourites New Zealand will be aiming to win the tournament for a third successive time, but there are a host of other nations who’ll believe they can lift the trophy when the final is played in Yokohama on November 2nd.
Here we assess the chances of the main contenders for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
For a country blessed with such an abundance of rugby talent, World Cup’s have never proved happy hunting grounds for the Irish. Just a year ago Joe Schmidt’s men would have been considered one of the favourites to lift the trophy. Grand Slam success was followed by a high profile victory over the All Blacks, and Johnny Sexton walked away with world player of the year honours. Since then however, opponents appear to have discovered a way to unpick their attritional game plan, and there remains a suspicion this Ireland side may follow processors who peaked between world cups.