Rugby World Cup 2019: Pool B preview – New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada

Pool B will start with a bang as heavyweights New Zealand and South Africa clash on Saturday September in Yokohama.

It’s a pool which includes Namibia, Italy and Canada along with the essential question is whether any of them is able to pull off a major shock and stone the All Blacks or the Springboks? It seems impossible, but remember Japan four years back? Here we take a peek at each country’s 31-man squad, choose a key player to focus upon, go through present form and bring you all the pool’s fixtures… Head coach: Steve Hansen Captain: Kieran Read (121 caps) Past Rugby World Cup best: Rugby World Cup winners (1987, 2011, 2015) Key participant: Beauden Barrett. The man pulling the strings for the champions. Particularly when it moves into the latter stages of the championship the spotlight will be on his own goal-kicking, but across the park he is expected to excel and take his game to the degree that is world-class it so often reaches. Present form: maybe not perfect from an All Black view. Since winning the championship New Zealand have failed to win in eight Exams – a highly unusual figure for them. They finished second in the reduced 2019 Rugby Championship, with drawn with South Africa and lost to Australia, while they also have dropped to Ireland (twice), the Lions (and drew another Test), Australia (twice) and South Africa as the final World Cup. However, who wouldn’t bet on them to lift some third consecutive crown? 31-man World Cup group: Forwards (17): Dane Coles, Liam Coltman, Codie Taylor, Nepo Laulala, Joe Moody, Atu Moli, Angus Ta’avao, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Samuel Whitelock, Sam Cane, Luke Jacobson, Kieran Read (c), Ardie Savea, Matt Todd. Backs (14): TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Brad Weber, Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo’unga, Ryan Crotty, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Sonny Bill Williams, Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Rieko Ioane, Sevu Reece, Ben Smith. Fixtures: Head trainer: Rassie Erasmus Captain: Siya Kolisi (42 caps) Past Rugby World Cup best: Rugby World Cup winners (1995, 2007) Key player: Faf de Klerk. The pocket who induces resistance and places their tempo defences a variety of issues to think about. The 27-year-old has skyrocketed over the last couple of seasons and combines a strong kicking game with vision and the confidence to’move’ when it’s on. Present form that the Boks will be the favourites. In their floundering form under Allister Coetzee at 2016 and 2017, 2018 and 2019 has shown a interval for South Africa, since they’ve defeated Scotland, France, England, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. A potential route to top avoiding New Zealand and the pool before the closing, along with their opening match against the All Blacks puts them in good form. World Cup squad: Forwards (17): Schalk Brits, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Siya Kolisi (c), Francois Louw, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Franco Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Kwagga Smith, RG Snyman, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Duane Vermeulen. Backs (14): Damian de Allende, Lukhanyo Am, Warrick Gelant, Elton Jantjies, Herschel Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Cheslin Kolbe, Jesse Kriel, Makazole Mapimpi, Sbu Nkosi, Handre Pollard, Cobus Reinach, Willie le Roux, Frans Steyn. Fixtures: Head trainer: Conor O’Shea Captain: Sergio Parisse (140 caps) Past Rugby World Cup best: Pool stage (1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015) Key participant: Sergio Parisse. The ultimate talisman of italy will take to the area in a fifth Rugby World Cup in Japan and he personifies the term’determination’. No 8 will work himself into the ground in what’s highly likely to be his final World Cup competition for the Azzurri and still has an engine to combine it. Current form: The conundrum of northern hemisphere rugby. Even though the performances of Zebre and club sides Benetton has improved because Conor O’Shea came in, consequences for its national team have stayed the same. Even the Azzurri’s only successes over the last two decades have come against Russia, Japan (that they dropped in another Evaluation ) and also Georgia. One must go back into November 2016 for its previous time Italy defeat a Tier 1 country. World Cup squad: Forwards (18): Luca Bigi, Dean Budd, Oliviero Fabiani, Simone Ferrari, Leonardo Ghiraldini, Andrea Lovotti, Maxime Mbanda, Sebastian Negri, Sergio Parisse (c), Tiziano Pasquali, Jake Polledri, Nicola Quaglio, Marco Riccioni, Federico Ruzza, David Sisi, Abraham Steyn, Federico Zani, Alessandro Zanni. Backs (13): Tommaso Allan, Mattia Bellini, Tommaso Benvenuti, Giulio Bisegni, Callum Braley, Michele Campagnaro, Carlo Canna, Jayden Hayward, Matteo Minozzi, Luca Morisi, Edoardo Padovani, Guglielmo Palazzani, Tito Tebaldi. Fixtures: Head coach: Phil Davies Captain: Johan Deysel (24 caps) Previous Rugby World Cup best: Pool point (1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015) Key participant: Eugene Jantjies. The will be the sole member from that championship 12 decades back and first emerged back in 2007. Four players stay Rohan Kitshoff, who featured in the 2011 World Cup: Darryl de la Harpe and PJ van Lill. This experienced spine of the squad will be crucial in trying to achieve a first-ever win at a Rugby World Cup contest. Present form looking for their first Rugby World Cup success, Namibia will find it tough likely to get a W inside this pool. They did beat against Uruguay from the build-up to the World Cup, but lost to Russia – whose own results have been poor. World Cup squad: Forwards (18): Andre Rademeyer, Nelius Theron, Desiderius Sethie, AJ de Klerk, Johannes Coetzee, Obert Nortje, Louis van der Westhuizen, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Tjiuee Uanivi, Johan Retief, Thomasau Forbes, Rohan Kitshoff, Max Katjijeko, Prince Gaoseb, Wian Conradie, PJ van Lill, Adriaan Booysen, Janco Venter. Backs (13): Cliven Loubser, Helarius Kisting, Damian Stevens, Eugene Jantjies, Darryl de la Harpe, Johan Deysel (c), Justin Newman, JC Greyling, Johann Tromp, Chad Plato, Lesley Klim, Janry du Toit, PJ Walters. Fixtures: Head coach: Kingsley Jones Captain: Tyler Ardron (33 caps) Previous Rugby World Cup best: Quarter-finals (1991) Key participant: DTH van der Merwe. Keep a look out for your winger who is making his fourth appearance at a Rugby World Cup. He’ll take a mile with his excellent 16, Should you provide him an inch and he has the speed to meet too. Van der Merwe has a hit-rate of all 38 tries in 57 Tests. Current form: Pretty poor. Truly, their build-up to this World Cup has witnessed a series of defeats which will have resulted in the squad significant discomfort. The summer has seen them drop to the USA (double ), Fiji and Tonga, although additional defeats came from Uruguay and Brazil earlier in the year. They’ve won seven World Cup games in history, but may just add one more to that total within this pool. World Cup group: Forwards (17): Tyler Ardron (c), Kyle Baillie, Justin Blanchet, Hubert Buydens, Luke Campbell, Matt Heaton, Eric Howard, Jake Ilnicki, Cole Keith, Conor Keys, Evan Olmstead, Benoit Piffero, Andrew Quattrin, Lucas Rumball, Djustice Sears-Duru, Mike Sheppard, Matthew Tierney Backs (14): Nick Blevins, Andrew Coe, Jeff Hassler, Ciaran Hearn, Ben LeSage, Phil Mack, Jamie Mackenzie, Gordon McRorie, Peter Nelson, Shane O’Leary, Patrick Parfrey, Taylor Paris, Conor Trainor, DTH van der Merwe. Fixtures: Read more:
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