ENGLAND OUT (1/5)
So we are about to enter the final stage of the RWC ENGLAND 2015, and England are nowhere to be seen - well and truly dumped. In fact left closer to the first round of Japan 2019 than the quarters of our own tournament. Furthermore, no home nation on home soil; Wales OUT, Scotland OUT, Ireland OUT. And neither France or Italy were able to take advantage in their rivals failure. So we are effectively left with a tri-nations tournament. A Southern Hemisphere World Cup.
THE OLD CHARIOT (2/5)
It's a tough pill to swallow, but I can swing low and recover. Stick on the DVD of RWC 2003 and maybe even get the new documentary Building Jerusalem - recalling the victorious England teams triumph in Australia all those years ago. Might even start thinking about the forthcoming Six Nations Championship in the near Winter / Spring.
CHECK OUT THE STATS (3/5)
In the meantime something else I take great interest in doing is reconsidering the titans of previous world cups and taking brief flight over the stats of previous tournaments. So CLICK HERE for a quick rundown of the complete tournament from 1987 to now including venue, winner, runner up, third and fourth place.
TID BITS (4/5)
A few things I find really interesting -
- 1987 - Wales pip Australia to third place by 1 point - 2015 and Australia pip Wales out of the quarters
- There has never been a Semi Final stage without one of the 'Tri Nations' (Aus/New Z/S.Af)
- 2015 will see the first semi finals without one of the 'Six Nations' (Eng/Sco/Wal/Ire/Fra/Ita)
- New Zealand '87/'11, Australia '91/'99 and South Africa '95/'07 have each won the WC twice And England '03 once of course
- Unlucky France have appeared in the semi final stage 6 times, yet never won the competition - three times runners up - once third and twice fourth
- New Zealand always a favourite have never actually been victorious outside of their own country
BRING ON JAPAN 2019 (5/5)
Just a bit of food for thought really. Think it would be jolly good to see Argentinas free flowing brand of Rugby Football succeed, rather than one of the same old same old get another star on their shirt. (Do they put stars on the shirts for a WC win?) Otherwise England have a young team and with all the right moves we may have a good chance in Japan four years from now!