So, after 48 matches of precise passes, huge hits and top tries, that’s it – farewell to Rugby World Cup 2011. No-one in New Zealand is ever likely to forget this tournament, and you can bet your life the men in charge of the new world champions, New Zealand, are now doing exactly the same thing as everyone else involved in international rugby: turning their attention to 2015.
Because from this moment on, every country with hopes of challenging for glory at RWC 2015 in England is looking to build a team capable of challenging for the Webb Ellis Cup when it’s next up for grabs.
It’s just as well, because 2015 could be the best Rugby World Cup yet. Many of the players who shone in New Zealand should arrive in England approaching their peak. The likes of David Pocock of Australia, Sam Warburton of Wales and Manu Tuilagi of England will all be in their mid to late twenties in 2015. Being four years older and wiser, they should be significantly better players by then – and given how well they performed in this tournament, that is some prospect.
Then there’s the certainty that all the tier two nations will continue to improve and narrow the gap to the bigger nations, meaning we can look forward to more titanic clashes like the 23-23 draw between Canada and Japan and Tonga’s shock victory over France.
Throw in the fact that rugby fans in England will be desperate to match the passion for the game shown by New Zealanders over the last six weeks, and you have a recipe for the perfect Rugby World Cup. Which means the next four years are just going to fly by…
- Friday 21 October 2011 - HSBC Sevens - Australia
Australia name full time women's Sevens coach
- Wednesday 19 October 2011 - HSBC Sevens
New managers to drive forward IRB Sevens refs
- Wednesday 19 October 2011 - Press Releases
Chairman and Vice Chairman election deferred
- Wednesday 12 October 2011 - Women's Rugby
England Women blend youth and experience
- Tuesday 21 October 2014 - Europe
The power of rugby to break down borders
- Monday 20 October 2014 - RWC 2015
All Blacks improve rankings total
- Monday 20 October 2014 - Press Releases
Olympic Sevens panel announced for #IRBConfEx
- Monday 20 October 2014 - Americas
Jaguars sign off in style at ARC
- Saturday 18 October 2014 - RWC 2015
Los Teros begin countdown to Cardiff
- 21 October - Jonny Wilkinson on life after rugby
- 20 October - Australia player Emilee Cherry looks ahead to the start of the Women's Sevens World Series
- 18 October - Cameron Clark on playing for Australia sevens
- 17 October - Sweden's Jennifer Sundqvist on 30 years of Women's rugby in the country
- 17 October - Gold Coast Sevens review
- Listen to this week's Total Rugby show
- 15 October - Martin Johnson's 'Tackle These'
- 14 October - Martin Johnson and Chris Robshaw on leadership
- 13 October - Uruguay's reaction to securing a place in Rugby World Cup Pool A
- 13 October - Russia's reaction to missing out on Rugby World Cup 2015