Rugby Union: England Still Need to Be Respected In Japan

by | Jul 16, 2018 | Sports Featured

The Rugby Union World Cup in Japan is fast approaching, with the 2019 competition set to be the year’s major event.

Over the course of June and July of 2018, we’ve seen England get behind Gareth Southgate’s side at the World Cup 2018 in Russia, with the Three Lions having great success and reaching the latter stage of the competition for the first time since 1990.

The whole country has been behind Southgate and his side, and next year, Eddie Jones will be hoping that his side will be back by similar numbers, as they go in search of World Cup success for the first time since Sir Clive Woodward led the Red Rose to success in Australia back in 2003.

Right now, that chance of success looks very limited, with England’s form in 2018 so far extremely worrying.

Jones’ first two years at the helm of English rugby brought back to back Six Nations triumphs, a 3-0 whitewash of Australia and a lengthy unbeaten run, where for so long, England looked like they would be the side to challenge New Zealand and end their spell of dominance in the world of rugby.

However, the opinion of many is changing, with Jones under pressure after a sloppy start to 2018.

England began the year with a poor defence of their Six Nations crown. They might’ve started with two victories in their opening two games, but the wheels were soon falling off, with defeats to Scotland, France and then Ireland, who won the Grand Slam with a rare victory at Twickenham.

A 45-63 defeat to the Barbarians followed, before England were beaten 2-1 in South Africa, with the Springboks putting England to bed early by winning the first two tests.

As expected, New Zealand are still overwhelming favourites to win the 2019 World Cup in Japan, whilst England have drifted out to $7.00 to win in the rugby union betting. Ireland are now second favourites to knock the All Blacks from their perch, following a Grand Slam in the Six Nations and a series victory over Australia.

Jones has time to turn things around with England, and can draw confidence from how the country’s football team have performed in Russia, where they entered the competition as complete underdogs.

Of course, when it comes to Japan and the World Cup, England could well have overtaken Ireland as the Northern Hemisphere’s main contenders, but there will still be the Australians and the Springboks, who are looking to also extend the Southern Hemisphere’s rule in the World Cup.

So far in 2018, England and Jones have shown nothing to worry about, with the Red Rose looking like it peaked too early in Jones’ four-year plan leading to Japan. However, a World Cup in any sport can throw up the unexpected, with England still a very dangerous nation that the All Blacks and co. will treat with respect.

The Southern Hemisphere’s elite will have had a close eye on England’s form in 2018, and however poor it has been, they will still be wary of the threat they could carry when Japan takes centre stage in the world of sport.

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