Ahh the hosts; England.
Where complaining and excuses are a-plenty.
Where drop goals mean more than tries and where nearly every sport was invented, though coincidentally not won.
This is the second time the Old Blighty have hosted the Rugby World Cup, after hosting the second tournament in 1991.
Normally here, we would talk about how the English always win the Six Nations, but unfortunately for them, they haven’t won it since 2011.
So instead, here are three things you need to know heading into RWC 2015.
1. Pool of Death Chances
England has an overall winning percentage of 53.78%. They are 50% or better against all but 4 international teams.
Of those 4 teams, 2 of them feature in their pool at this years tournament – Australia and Wales.
Wales, of course a suburb or…wait. What is that word they use? Oh yes! A colony.
Wales, a colony of England, won the 2012 and 2013 Six Nations, which has left a bitter taste in the mouths of the aristocratic Brits.
Now, all of sudden, injuries are popping up left and right in the Welsh camp and we wouldn’t be surprised if we received a media release, post-cup, that detailed plans to stop all outgoing planes from Heathrow to Fiji.
Either way, this year’s so-called “pool of death” is shaping up to be one hell of a contest.
2. The Power of the Boot
In winning the 2003 tournament, England had two players in the top try scorer’s table – Will Greenwood and Josh Lewsey with 5 tries – compared to 4 from New Zealand (not that it did us any good).
Their top points scorer was Jonny Wilkinson with 113 points in 7 matches. This featured no tries……no tries at all.
23 penalties and a whopping 8 drop goals (Dan Carter eat ya’ heart out!). But seriously, for a man who invented the most unorthodox kicking stance, surely he could have found a creative way to get over the white chalk?
FYI, our own Grant Fox still holds the record for points at 126 points in the 1987 Rugby World Cup.
3. The Uniform
While England’s traditional strip is an all white jersey with the red rose, and navy and white socks, this was not an original design.
This design was taken from the original kit worn by Rugby School – the same school where one, William Webb Ellis, picked up a football and ran with it, and thus began the game we know as Rugby Union.
Shows how much there is to talk about England, that we are resorting to frivolous uniform chat. But hey, who doesn’t like a Brit in uniform?!
No one. No one does.
Surely you have to put the hosts in the final? I mean, home field advantage has worked three out of seven times in Rugby World Cups. Alas, the England squad is not as deep as it once was. And England has lost a lot of its colonies in the last…..while.
So we’ll let them use the media to try and undermine other teams, especially the All Blacks. We’ll see who gets the last laugh when 50 points are scored on them.
The prediction is they will come dead last. Beaten by Fiji and Uruguay.