Former South Africa rugby team coach Jake White believes that upcoming 2019 world cup is more competitive than 2015 edition and more than five nations are capable of becoming world rugby champions in Japan. According him, it will not be easy for All Blacks (New Zealand) to defend title this year as compared to previous one where they’re clear favorites.
“The All Blacks are favourites to win their third straight world title, but the gap is much smaller than four years ago when there was clear daylight between New Zealand and everyone else, and that’s one of the reasons everyone is excited about the 2019 event,” White said in an exclusive column to All Out Rugby.
2007 rugby world cup winning team Springboks coach White also predicts South African team as favorite to claim title in Japan. Wales, Ireland, England, Australia, South Africa, France and Scotland will be title contenders at RWC 2019.
“If you ask anyone in Cardiff they’ll tell you that Wales, the Six Nations champions, are going to win the 2019 RWC. Their current 14-Test win streak broke a 100-year record, they’re second on the world rankings and they’ve been tipped as genuine contenders,” Jake added.
According him, no-doubt New Zealand will be favorites but other teams are not as behind as they were in the last edition. Wales are at the second spot in claiming title as per White’s prediction meanwhile third favorite to win RWC 2019, are European champions Ireland.
“England will be close to unstoppable if they return to their form of a couple of years ago. South Africa and Australia have each won the tournament twice. The Wallabies were runners-up in 2015 and the Boks are upbeat after edging the All Blacks in Wellington last year.”
The 9th edition of rugby world cup will take place between 20 September and 2 November.