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My 2019 Rugby World Cup Prediction!

by , 19 September 2019
My 2019 Rugby World Cup Prediction!
Now is the time to get excited about the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

It's been four years since the world last clashed on the rugby field and with the introduction of new countries taking part, this year's Rugby World Cup could be a nail-biter.

That's why today I want to break down each team to its very core, identify their squads while answering one important question…

Who will win round 1 in the 2019 Rugby World Cup?

Let's get to it…
 
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History of the Rugby World Cup title holders
 
The first tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia in 1987.
 
Since then only four countries have won the Webb Ellis Cup. 
 
New Zealand – three time rugby world champions
Australia – two time rugby world champions
South Africa - two time rugby world champions
England – one time rugby world champions
 
New Zealand are the current title holders and are the favourite amongst the 20 teams participating.
 
The 2019 Rugby World Cup will be hosted by Japan with four pools each containing five nations.
 
 

 
Source: https://www.rugbyworldcup.com/pools
 
Pool A preview and prediction
 
Ireland
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Rory Best (c), Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Sean Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Cian Healy, Dave Kilcoyne, Iain Henderson, Jean Kleyn, Peter O’Mahony, Andrew Porter, Rhys Ruddock, James Ryan, John Ryan, Niall Scannell, CJ Stander, Josh van der Flier
 
Backs
 
Bundee Aki, Joey Carbery, Jack Carty, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Robbie Henshaw, Rob Kearney, Jordan Larmour, Luke McGrath, Conor Murray, Garry Ringrose, Jonathan Sexton, Jacob Stockdale
 
The Irish, on paper, are the strongest team in pool A and should have no problem finishing on top. However, the men in green have just fallen away a little this year, only winning three of their five Six Nations matches.
 
I don’t see them moving past the quarter finals, as they will be facing New Zealand or South Africa, arguable two of the most dangerous sides heading to Japan.
 
Scotland
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
John Barclay, Simon Berghan, Fraser Brown, Scott Cummings, Allan Dell, Zander Fagerson, Grant Gilchrist, Jonny Gray, Stuart McInally (c), Willem Nel, Gordon Reid, Jamie Ritchie, Blade Thomson, Ben Toolis, George Turner, Hamish Watson, Ryan Wilson
 
Backs
 
Darcy Graham, Chris Harris, Adam Hastings, Stuart Hogg, George Horne, Pete Horne, Sam Johnson, Blair Kinghorn, Greig Laidlaw, Sean Maitland, Ali Price, Finn Russell, Tommy Seymour, Duncan Taylor
 
Although Scotland come into the World Cup in the top ten, they haven’t had the greatest year. The Scott’s only managed one victory in the 2019 Six Nations, beating Italy and losing their remaining four matches.
 
I don’t see them topping the pool at all…
 
Japan
 
Squad: 
 
Forwards
 
Keita Inagaki, Yusuke Kizu, Koo Ji-won, Isileli Nakajima, Asaeli Ai Valu, Takuya Kitade, Atsushi Sakata, Shota Horie, Luke Thompson, Wimpie van der Walt, Uwe Helu, James Moore, Hendrik Tui, Yoshitaka Tokunaga, Michael Leitch (captain), Lappies Labuschagne, Kazuki Himeno, Amanaki Mafi
 
Backs
 
Kaito Shigeno, Fumiaki Tanaka, Yutaka Nagare, Yu Tamura, Rikiya Matsuda, Kenki Fukuoka, Ataata Moeakiola, Lomano Lemeki, William Tupou, Ryoto Nakamura, Timothy Lafaele, Kotaro Matsushima, Ryohei Yamanaka
 
Over the last four years Japan has been one of the world’s most improved rugby teams. After their monumental victory over South Africa in 2015, they have continued an upward trajectory.
 
However, Japan’s coach, Jamie Joseph has a fairly inexperienced side for the tournament and will be facing a very talented pool.
 
Russia
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Azamat Bitiev, Andrey Garbuzov, Kirill Gotovtsev, Victor Gresev, Bogdan Fedotko, Vitaliy Zhivatov, Evgeny Matveev, Andrey Polivalov, Vladimir Podrezov, Evgeny Yelgin, Stanislav Selsky, Nikita Vavilin, Sergey Chernyshev, Tagir Gadzhiev, Roman Khodin, Andrei Ostrikov, Valery Morozov, Anton Sychev
 
Backs
 
Vasily Artemyev (captain), Igor Galinovsky, Kirill Golosnitsky, Vasily Dorofeev, Yuri Kushnarev, German Davydov, Dmitry Perov, Vladislav Sozonov, Dmitry Gerasimov, Ramil Gaysin, Denis Simplikevich, Vladimir Ostroushko, Sergey Yanyushkin
 
The Russians are unlikely to do any better with their opposition significantly stronger than them. They also go into the tournament having lost their last warmup game to Irish club Connacht.
 
Their participation is a step in the right direction and they will learn as much as possible, but the possibility of victory will be a bridge too far.
 
Samoa
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Afaesetiti Amosa, TJ Ioane, Jack Lam, Piula Fa’asalele, Josh Tyrell, Chris Vui, Teofilo Paulo, Kane Leaupepe, Senio Toleafoa, Michael Alaalatoa, Paul Alo-Emile, James Lay, Jordan Lay, Logovi’i Mulipola, Motu Matu’u, Ray Niuia, Seilala Lam
 
Backs
 
Ed Fidow, Tim Nanai-Williams, Ahsee Tuala, Belgium Tuatagaloa, Henry Taefu, Alapati Leiua, Reynold Lee-Lo, Kieron Fonotia, AJ Atatimu, Tusi Pisi, Ulupano Seuteni, Dwayne Polotaivao, Melani Matavao, Pele Cowley
 
Only eight players in Samoa’s squad have played in a World Cup before, and there are two without a single test cap.
 
The Samoans should have too much for Russia, a battle with Japan should be their best chance of a second victory in pool A. Scotland and Ireland are unlikely to yield defeat to the Pacific Islanders.
 
Pool A Prediction:
 
1. Ireland
2. Scotland
3. Japan
4. Samoa
5. Russia
 
Pool B preview and prediction
 
New Zealand
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Dane Coles, Liam Coltman, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Joe Moody, Atu Moli, Angus Ta'avao, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Whitelock, Sam Cane, Luke Jacobson, Kieran Read (captain), Ardie Savea, Matt Todd
 
Backs
 
TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Brad Weber, Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo'unga, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Rieko Ioane, Sevu Reece, Ben Smith
 
Arguable the best team in the Rugby World Cup, the All Blacks will once again be led by Kieran Read as they look for their third consecutive title in Japan.
 
The only teams that threaten the title holders would be South Africa, Australia and England.
 
I definitely see New Zealand going to the semi-finals and I would be surprised if they made it to the finals.
 
South Africa
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
  
Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Schalk Brits (Bulls), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens/ENG), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Lood de Jager (Bulls), Franco Mostert (Gloucester/ENG), RG Snyman (Bulls), Siya Kolisi (Stormers, capt), Francois Louw (Bath/ENG), Kwagga Smith (Lions), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Duane Vermeulen (Bulls)
 
Backs
 
Warrick Gelant (Bulls), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz/JPN), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse/FRA), Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks), Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Francois Steyn (Montpellier/FRA), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Handre Pollard (Bulls), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks/ENG), Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints/ENG)
 
With a very successful Rugby Championship for the Springboks, who also beat Argentina and Australia to claim their first ever title since the competition shifted to the four-team format, I believe South Africa are a dangerous squad.
 
They seem to have peeked just at the right time for the tournament and will look to bring it all when they face New Zealand this Saturday.
 
It’s definitely a battle between the two power houses on who will top pool B. I have my money on South Africa.
 
Sorry New Zealand!
 
Italy
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Simone Ferrari (Benetton), Andrea Lovotti (Zebre), Tiziano Pasquali (Benetton), Nicola Quaglio (Benetton), Marco Riccioni (Benetton), Federico Zani (Benetton), Luca Bigi (Zebre), Oliviero Fabiani (Zebre), Leonardo Ghiraldini (without team), Dean Budd (Benetton), Federico Ruzza (Benetton), David Sisi (Zebre), Alessandro Zanni (Benetton), Maxime Mbanda (Zebre), Sebastian Negri (Benetton), Sergio Parisse (Toulon - captain), Jake Polledri (Gloucester), Abraham Steyn (Benetton)
 
Backs
 
Callum Braley (Gloucester), Guglielmo Palazzani (Zebre), Tito Tebaldi (Benetton), Tommaso Allan (Benetton), Carlo Canna (Zebre), Tommaso Benvenuti (Benetton), Michele Campagnaro (Harlequins), Luca Morisi (Benetton), Mattia Bellini (Zebre), Giulio Bisegni (Zebre), Jayden Hayward (Benetton), Matteo Minozzi (Wasps), Edoardo Padovani (Zebre)
 
Italy, who had a top-12 finish in 2015, didn’t need to qualify for this year’s edition, but the perennial bottom team in the Six Nations will struggle to do anything in this pool.
 
They come into the tournament without much experience at the Rugby World Cup and with dangerous teams like New Zealand and South Africa in this pool, they got dealt a horrible hand.
 
Namibia
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Andre Rademeyer, Nelius Theron, Desiderius Sethie, AJ de Klerk, Johannes Coetzee, Obert Nortje, Louis van der Westhuizen, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Tjiuee Uanivi, Johan Retief, Thomasau Forbes, Rohan Kitshoff, Max Katjijeko, Prince Gaoseb, Wian Conradie, P J van Lill, Adriaan Booysen, Janco Venter
 
Backs
 
Cliven Loubser, Helarius Kisting, Damian Stevens, Eugene Jantjies, Darryl de la Harpe, Johan Deysel, Justin Newman, JC Greyling, Johann Tromp, Chad Plato, Lesley Klim, Janry du Toit, P J Walters
 
Namibia hold the record for biggest losing margin in the history of the World Cup, when they fell to Australia 142-0 in 2003.
 
They have come a long way as a minnow rugby nation since then.
 
In the Africa Gold Cup where they booked their spot for Japan, they came away with five wins from five over Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia, Zimbabwe and Morocco.
 
But playing a minnow in a pool sharks, I don’t see them having a successful run in this world cup.
 
Canada
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Tyler Ardron (Chiefs-capt), Kyle Baillie (New Orleans Gold), Justin Blanchet (unattached), Hubert Buydens (unattached), Luke Campbell (Toronto Arrows), Matt Heaton (Rugby ATL), Eric Howard (New Orleans Gold), Jake Ilnicki (Seattle Seawolves), Cole Keith (Toronto Arrows), Conor Keys (unattached), Evan Olmstead (unattached), Benoit Piffero (Blagnac), Andrew Quattrin (Toronto Arrows), Lucas Rumball (Toronto Arrows), Djustice Sears-Duru (Seattle Seawolves), Mike Sheppard (Toronto Arrows), Matt Tierney (Castres) 
 
Backs
 
Nick Blevins (Calgary Hornets), Andrew Coe (Markham Irish), Jeff Hassler (Seattle Seawolves), Ciaran Hearn (unattached), DTH van der Merwe (Glasgow Warriors), Ben LeSage (Calgary Canucks), Jamie Mackenzie (Toronto Arrows), Phil Mack (Seattle Seawolves), Gordon McRorie (Calgary Hornets), Peter Nelson (unattached), Shane O'Leary (Nottingham), Pat Parfrey (Toronto Arrows), Taylor Paris (Castres), Conor Trainor (Nevers)
 
Canada came away with commanding wins over Germany, Hong Kong and Kenya to qualify for the tournament.
 
Still, their form is poor, having lost to the USA, Tonga and Fiji at the Pacific Nations Cup, before falling to Leinster in a warm-up match.
 
Canada won’t be expected to do a great deal in Japan, maybe sneaking in third place in the pool stages.
 
Pool B Prediction:
 
1. South Africa
2. New Zealand
3. Italy
4. Canada
5. Namibia
 
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Pool C preview and prediction
 
England
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Tom Curry (Sale), Maro Itoje (Saracens), George Kruis (Saracens), Courtney Lawes (Northampton), Joe Launchbury (Wasps), Lewis Ludlam (Northampton), Sam Underhill (Bath), Billy Vunipola (Saracens), Mark Wilson (Newcastle/Sale), Dan Cole (Leicester), Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter), Ellis Genge (Leicester), Jamie George (Saracens), Joe Marler (Harlequins), Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins), Jack Singleton (Saracens), Mako Vunipola (Saracens)
 
Backs
 
Joe Cokanasiga (Bath), Elliot Daly (Saracens), Jonny May (Leicester), Ruaridh McConnochie (Bath), Jack Nowell (Exeter), Anthony Watson (Bath), Piers Francis (Northampton), Jonathan Joseph (Bath), Henry Slade (Exeter), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester), Owen Farrell (Saracens, capt), George Ford (Leicester), Willi Heinz (Gloucester), Ben Youngs (Leicester) 
 
After falling short in the Six Nations earlier in the year, impressive warm-up wins over Wales and Ireland, England is in a strong position heading to Japan.
 
Eddie Jones’ side were impressive in dominating Ireland 57-15 in their latest warm-up game, and if they can maintain that attacking proficiency, they are going to be a dangerous proposition throughout the World Cup.
 
France
 
Squad: 
 
Forwards
 
Gregory Alldritt (La Rochelle), Yacouba Camara (Montpellier), Arthur Iturria (Clermont), Charles Ollivon (Toulon), Wenceslas Lauret (Racing 92), Louis Picamoles (Montpellier), Paul Gabrillagues (Stade Francais), Bernard Le Roux (Racing 92), Sebastien Vahaamahina (Clermont), Demba Bamba (Lyon), Emerick Setiano (Toulon), Rabah Slimani (Clermont), Camille Chat (Racing 92), Guilhem Guirado (Montpellier-captain), Peato Mauvaka (Toulouse), Cyril Baille (Toulouse), Jefferson Poirot (Bordeaux-Begles)
 
Backs
 
Maxime Medard (Toulouse), Thomas Ramos (Toulouse), Yoann Huget (Toulouse), Damian Penaud (Clermont), Aivereti Raka (Clermont), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Gael Fickou (Stade Francais), Sofiane Guitoune (Toulouse), Virimi Vakatawa (Racing 92), Camille Lopez (Clermont), Romain Ntamack (Toulouse), Antoine Dupont (Toulouse), Maxime Machenaud (Racing 92), Baptiste Serin (Toulon)
 
France’s squad for the Rugby World Cup doesn’t include Mathieu Bastareaud, however, he is otherwise evenly replaced.
 
What the side doesn’t have is top form. They won just two matches in the Six Nations and have been up and down in the lead-up to Japan 2019.
 
And being in a pool with England and Argentina, they have a tough World Cup ahead of them.
 
Argentina
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Rodrigo Bruni (Jaguares), Javier Ortega Desio (Jaguares), Marcos Kremer (Jaguares), Juan Manuel Leguizamon (Jaguares), Tomas Lezana (Jaguares), Pablo Matera (Jaguares, capt), Matias Alemanno (Jaguares), Tomas Lavanini (Jaguares), Guido Petti (Jaguares), Agustin Creevy (Jaguares), Julian Montoya (Jaguares), Santiago Socino (Jaguares), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro (Jaguares), Juan Figallo (Saracens), Santiago Medrano (Jaguares), Enrique Pieretto (Jaguares), Mayco Vivas (Jaguares)
 
Backs
 
Emiliano Boffelli (Jaguares), Joaquin Tuculet (Jaguares), Santiago Carreras (Jaguares), Bautista Delguy (Jaguares), Ramiro Moyano (Jaguares), Jeronimo de la Fuente (Jaguares), Juan Cruz Mallia (Jaguares), Lucas Mensa (Pucara), Matias Moroni (Jaguares), Matias Orlando (Jaguares), Nicolas Sanchez (Stade Francais), Benjamin Urdapilleta (Castres), Tomas Cubelli (Jaguares), Felipe Ezcurra (Hindu)
 
Argentina’s Rugby Championship campaign featured two extremely close games and one blowout, but the Pumas nonetheless ended the tournament winless.
 
Being able to stay in the contest against New Zealand at home and Australia on the road was good, while the side also amended their result against South Africa with a much better performance the week later, falling by just six points.
 
With a lot of experience in the Argentinian’s side, the bulk of which comes from the Jaguares.
 
I think they should do well in the pool stages.
 
USA
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Cam Dolan (NOLA Gold), Malon Al-Jiboori (Unattached), Hanco Germishuys (Glendale Raptors), Tony Lamborn (Melbourne Rebels, AUS/Hawke's Bay Magpies/NZL), Ben Pinkelman (USA Sevens), John Quill (Rugby United New York), Nate Brakeley (Rugby United New York), Nick Civetta (Unattached), Ben Landry (Ealing Trailfinders/ENG), Gregory Peterson (Newcastle Falcons/ENG), David Ainu'(Toulouse/FRA), Eric Fry (Vannes/FRA), Olive Kilifi (Seattle Seawolves), Paul Mullen (Unattached), Titi Lamositele (Saracens/ENG), Dylan Fawsitt (Rugby United New York), James Hilterbrand (Manly Marlins/AUS), Joseph Taufete'e (Worcester Warriors/ENG)
 
Backs
 
Blaine Scully (Unattached-captain), Will Hooley (Bedford Blues/ENG), Martin Iosefo (USA Sevens), Mike Te'o (San Diego Legion), Marcel Brache (Western Force/AUS), Nate Augspurger (San Diego Legion), Paul Lasike (Harlequins/ENG), Thretton Palamo (Houston SaberCats), Bryce Campbell (London Irish/ENG), Will Magie (Unattached), AJ MacGinty (Sale Sharks/ENG), Shaun Davies (Glendale Raptors), Ruben De Haas (Free State Cheetahs/RSA)
 
USA’s most recent outings were in the Pacific Nations Cup, and provided mixed bag of results.
 
Even though they were able to get the better of Samoa and thumped Canada, they weren’t able to get past this tournament’s hosts, going down to Japan.
 
However, qualify with relative ease as the first American team through for the showpiece tournament and with two of their seven’s side players they could have a great first tournament.
 
Tonga
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Siegfried ‘Fisiihoi, Vunipola Fifita, Latu ‘Talakai, Paula ‘Ngauamo, Sosefo ‘Sakalia, Siua Maile, Siua ‘Halanukonuka, Ma’afu Fia, Ben Tameifuna, Sam Lousi, Leva Fifita, Sitiveni Mafi, Sione Kalamafoni, Maama ‘Vaipulu, Fotu ‘Lokotui, Zane ‘Kapeli, Dan Faleafa, Nasi Manu
 
Backs
 
Sonatane Takulua, Leon ‘Fukofuka, Samisoni Fisilau, Kurt Morath, James ‘Faiva, Siale Piutau, Malietoa Hingano, Nafi Tuitavake, Atieli Pakalani, David Halaifonua, Viliami Lolohea, Cooper Vuna, Telusa Veainu
 
The Tongans have talked openly about their dream to make the final eight at the Rugby World Cup, and while that seems a bit of a fantasy at the moment, they will be competitive in the pool stages.
 
As is the case with all of the Pacific Island nations, they will bring a big pack of forwards and some exceptional talent out wide.
 
They should get the upper hand when it comes to USA but France, Argentina and England will be their mountain to climb.
 
Pool C Prediction:
 
1. England
2. Argentina
3. France
4. Tonga
5. USA
 
Pool D preview and prediction
 
Australia
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Adam Coleman, Jack Dempsey, Folau Fainga'a, Michael Hooper (captain), Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Isi Naisarani, David Pocock, Izack Rodda, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese
 
Backs
 
Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Samu Kerevi, Marika Koroibete, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, James O'Connor, Jordan Petaia, Matt Toomua, Nic White
 
It’s hard to get a read on the Wallabies ahead of this year’s World Cup after a whirlwind Rugby Championship.
 
If the side that put 47 points on the All Blacks in Perth turns up, the sky’s the limit. If it’s the side that got brushed aside by South Africa and New Zealand then I don’t expect them to make the quarter finals.
 
It’s crucial that they get the pool stage right if they want to finish in the top four.
 
Wales
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Rhys Carre, James Davies, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones, Wyn Jones, Dillon Lewis, Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Ken Owens, Aaron Shingler, Nicky Smith, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright
 
Backs
 
Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Dan Biggar, Aled Davies, Gareth Davies, Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Hadleigh Parkes, Rhys Patchell, Owen Watkin, Liam Williams, Tomos Williams
 
Wales had an undefeated Six Nations campaign which saw them briefly propel to the top of the World Rugby rankings, only to fall down to fourth after a recent 22-17 loss to Ireland.
 
Warren Gatland’s side enter this tournament perhaps best placed to reach the final for the first time in their history. They will be hoping to at least reach the semi-finals for the first time.
 
Georgia
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Jaba Bregvadze (Sunwolves), Levan Chilachava (Montpellier), Beka Gigashvili (Toulon), Otar Giorgadze (Brive), Guram Gogichashvili (Racing 92), Beka Gorgadze (Bordeaux-Begles), Mamuka Gorgodze (Toulon), Vano Karkadze (Aurillac), Lasha Lomidze (Doncaster), Shalva Mamukashvili (Enisei-STM), Giorgi Melikidze (Stade Francais), Kote Mikautadze (Montpellier), Mikheil Nariashvili (Montpellier), Giorgi Nemsadze (Ospreys-capt), Beka Saginadze (Aurillac), Shalva Sutiashvili (Soyaux-Angouleme), Giorgi Tkhilaishvili (Batoumi)
 
Backs
 
Tedo Abzhandadze (Brive), Gela Aprasidze (Montpellier), Giorgi Begadze (Kochebi Bolnisi), Zurab Dzneladze (Lokomotiv Tbilisi), David Katcharava (Enisei-STM), Lasha Khmaladze (Batoumi), Giorgi Kveseladze (Armazi Marneouli), Vasil Lobzhanidze (Brive), Lasha Malaguradze (Krasny Yar Krasnoyarsk), Ioseb Matiashvili (Lelo Saracens), Tamaz Mchedlidze (Rouen), Mirian Modebadze (Kutaisi), Merab Sharikadze (Aurillac), Alexander Todua (Batoumi)
 
Georgia romped through the Six Nations B earlier this year, conceding just 34 points across their five matches while scoring 162.
 
But, when they came up against a ‘proper’ test nation, their weaknesses were snuffed out. Scotland buried Georgia in the form of a 44-10 win in their recent warm-up.
 
Georgia are yet to progress from the group stage at the World Cup and I doubt they will in this tournament.
 
Fiji
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Campese Ma’afu, Eroni Mawi, Peni Ravai, Manasa Saulo, Kalivati Tawake, Mesulame Dolokoto, Samuel Matavesi, Ratu Veremalua Vugakoto, Tevita Cavubati, Leone Nakarawa, Apisalome Ratuniyarawa, Tevita Ratuva, Semi Kunatani, Viliame Mata, Mosese Voka, Dominiko Waqaniburotu, Peceli Yato
 
Backs
 
Frank Lomani, Nikola Matawalu, Henry Seniloli, Levani Botia, Jale Vatubua, Ben Volavola, Vereniki Goneva, Filipo Nakosi, Waisea Nayacalevu, Semi Radradra, Josua Tuisova, Joshua Matavesi, Alivereti Veitokani, Kini Murimurivalu
 
Riding on a massive high after finishing 2018 with one of the biggest upsets in international rugby history, a 21-14 victory over France on foreign soil despite a first-up loss to Japan in the Pacific Nations Cup.
 
The Flying Fijians have enjoyed hard-fought wins over Canada, Samoa and Tonga since and will enter the World Cup full of confidence but I doubt that will be enough to see them through the pool stages.
 
Uruguay
 
Squad:
 
Forwards
 
Facundo Gattas, Joaquín Jaunsolo, Mateo Sanguinetti, Germán Kessler, Guillermo Pujadas, Diego Arbelo, Juan Echeverría, Juan Pedro Rombys, Ignacio Dotti, Manuel Leindekar, Diego Magno, Franco Lamana, Manuel Ardao, Santiago Civetta, Manuel Diana, Juan Manuel Gaminara (capitán), Juan Diego Ormaechea, Alejandro Nieto
 
Backs
 
Agustín Ormaechea, Santiago Arata, Felipe Berchesi, Felipe Etcheverry, Juan Manuel Cat, Santiago Vilaseca, Agustín Della Corte, Tomás Inciarte, Federico Favaro, Nicolás Freitas, Leandro Leivas, Gastón Mieres, Rodrigo Silva
 
The Uruguayans surprised in the qualification phase after upsetting Canada in their two-match playoff.
 
It’s been a mostly great 2019 season for Uruguayans, going undefeated throughout the Americas Rugby Championship, although they did go down to Namibia at home in June.
 
I don’t think they move past the pool stages though.
 
Pool D Prediction:
 
1. Wales
2. Australia
3. Fiji
4. Georgia
5. Uruguay
  
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My Rugby World Cup 2019 round 1 predictions
 
Japan vs Russia
 
Japan win percentage = 97.4%
Russia win percentage = 2.6%
Japan to win by 30
 
Australia vs Fiji
 
Australia win percentage = 86.4%
Fiji win percentage = 13.6%
Australia to win by 15
 
France vs Argentina
 
France win percentage = 57.9%
Argentina win percentage = 42.1%
France to win by 3
 
New Zealand vs South Africa
 
New Zealand win percentage = 78.3%
South Africa win percentage = 21.7%
New Zealand to win by 7
 
Italy vs Namibia
 
Italy win percentage = 97.7%
Namibia win percentage = 2.3%
Italy to win by 31
 
Ireland vs Scotland
 
Ireland win percentage = 71.7%
Scotland win percentage = 28.3%
Ireland to win by 10
 
England vs Tonga
 
England win percentage = 98.7%
Tonga win percentage = 1.3%
England to win by 40
 
Wales vs Georgia
 
Wales win percentage = 96.8%
Georgia win percentage = 3.2%
Wales to win by 20
 
There you have it, your pool prediction as well as round 1.
 
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Until next time,
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The Winning Streak Team


My 2019 Rugby World Cup Prediction!
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