Stuart Lancaster’s side will be quietly confident of achieving success at this year’s tournament and, on home soil, are more than capable of competing with the best teams on the planet. England will be looking to bounce back after narrowly missing out on the Six Nations crown on the final day of the tournament, despite earning a thrilling 55-35 victory over France.
The 2003 Rugby World Cup winners were without key members of their squad for the competition earlier in the year and Stuart Lancaster will have more players to choose from ahead of the upcoming tournament in autumn. We take a look at England’s chances of lifting the trophy on October 31st and give our thoughts on who could stop them. For more rugby union news, odds and information regarding the Rugby World Cup, click here.
England were incredibly disappointed to miss out on their first Six Nations success since 2011 as Ireland earned their second consecutive triumph. Lancaster’s side were well beaten in all departments against the Irish back in March as Johnny Sexton led his team to a 19-9 victory at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. However, England were without a number of important players and will be much stronger in the World Cup later this year. The likes of David Wilson, Ben Morgan and Owen Farrell were all ruled out through injury and one would imagine all three of these will feature in Lancaster’s squad for the World Cup.
On the other hand, the 2003 winners have struggled with disciplinary problems in the build-up to the tournament and will be without a number of key components for the remainder of 2015. Manu Tuilagi has been ruled out of contention after he was convicted for assaulting two female police officers earlier in the year while Danny Cipriani was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving. Off-field incidents like these can be detrimental for confidence and Lancaster must ensure that his players remain firmly focussed on their on-field performances.
New Zealand are the defending champions and will stand a great chance of retaining their title this year. The All Blacks are arguably the best team in the sport and possess talent all over the field. They have pace and power in abundance and, with Dan Carter in the side, they can exploit defences with his exceptional kicking game – which could cause problems for opposing teams throughout the competition. New Zealand are certainly the team to beat but, with a bit of luck, England will fancy their chances of claiming another famous World Cup title on home soil on 31st October.