Rugby World Cup 2019

This is going to be a short one for other than making the point I am looking forward to the 2019 Rugby World Cup that has just begun, there is not much thus far I can say about it.

I have been following the Rugby World Cup since its inception in 1987 and see the event as rivalling the Olympics, Football World Cup and the Cricket World Cup (only recently ended – aren’t we luck to have such a feast of sporting excellence we can enjoy) in terms of significance. I have been England supporter throughout and have been invariably disappointed when they are overcome by superior opposition, except in 2003 when they won it and were the undoubtedly best team. Pundits tell me they are a formidable team now that could go all the way but looking at recent results I have doubts and fear they can flatter to deceive and lack that air of invincibility that mark great sides, but then again as in most sports it is about peaking at the right time and this could be it. I will certainly be rooting for England and hoping they can shine and overcome rivals through brilliance and because they are the best, especially when playing traditional rivals Wales and France and the three Southern Hemisphere sides, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand that have dominated the competition. No doubt there will be upsets, especially when the underdog wins, a prospect to relish.

Funnily enough, I had almost forgotten the tournament was taking place and for the first time ever in a continent not known for its rugby – Asia – Japan to be exact. It happened my interest was sparked as I switched yesterday to Radio 5 live and found myself listening to some of the commentary of two formidable rugby sides, New Zealand and South Africa playing each other. New Zealand won and it will be hard to bet against them winning the trophy for the third time in the row. But right now, I am serving notice that I will be following the tournament, watching on ITV or listening to Radio 5 Live when I can, especially when it gets to the serious knock out stages, and in any case on catch up, thanks to the Internet.

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