Snack Media will be spending the next six months in the run-up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup taking you through the tournament, the teams and even the terms of one of the world’s most popular sports. Our fifth blog looks at Pool D.
If Pool C is this year’s ‘Pool of Death’ at the World Cup, Pool D is a close contender for that title.
This group sees two-time winners Australia compete with Wales, Fiji, Georgia and Uruguay. This is such a compelling group, as it is rich in history, and has the potential for an upset.
Australia, known as the Wallabies, and Wales are the favourites to progress from this group, but the game between the two is very hard to call. Wales are Six Nations champions, while Australia have suffered a bit of a slump in recent seasons, however, Wales have only beaten the Wallabies once since 2008.
Fortunately for Wales, they beat Australia the last time that they played, in the Autumn, snapping a 13-match losing streak against them. This is a very hard match to call, but Wales may well have the edge.
However, Fiji and Georgia certainly cannot be written off as well. In terms of teams outside of the Six Nations and Rugby Championship, Fiji and Georgia are probably the most dangerous, capable of competing with the very best. Fiji historically beat Wales in the 2007 World Cup, while Wales only narrowly beat Georgia at home in the Autumn.
While it may seem unlikely, neither Fiji or Georgia can be counted out of securing an upset. The brutally physical Georgians will take the game to anyone they play, while the speed and skill of the Fiji team always makes them a threat, which promises for entertaining matches.
Meanwhile, Uruguay are perhaps the only team in this pool where the other teams can feel confident of getting the victory going into the match.
This is a very intriguing pool in the World Cup, and the one where an upset could well be on the cards.