2015 Rugby World Cup view from the fans: Australia, England, Wales

Paul Radley talks to supporters for Australia, England and Wales and gauges their confidence ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Twickenham, site of the 2015 Rugby World Cup final, shown on Saturday during England's Test against Ireland. Henry Browne / Reuters / September 5, 2015
Powered by automated translation

Ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Paul Radley takes the supporters' pulse for Australia, England and Wales.


Name: Nigel Brock

Nationality: Australian

Australia may be a bit of a dark horse this World Cup. Having recently beaten both New Zealand and South Africa in the Rugby Championship they have shown on their day they can match the best. Their backs have all the moves and the forward pack is improving rapidly.

Obviously New Zealand are favourites but, if you are going to beat them, your best chance is when they are away from home.

Their loss to Australia in the Rugby Championship will have made their focus laser sharp. Six Nations champions Ireland must be a chance and England with home advantage will be dangerous.


My favourite World Cup memory is the Australian second rower John Eales making a try saving tackle on England’s flyhalf Rob Andrew with only minutes to go in the 1991 final.

You’ve got to love 6ft 7in forwards running down speedy backs as they head towards an open goal line.


I love watching Quade Cooper, his ability to create space for his back line never ceases to amaze.

He is a player with such fantastic abilities it would be great to see it all come together for him in this World Cup. Also, keep an eye on Israel Folau. You will see some exciting moves to get him into space.


The pools stage won’t be a formality, with England, Wales and Australia in the same pool and only two teams going through. A lot of fans are going to be disappointed early.

The improvement of non-traditional rugby nations, and the rising profile of the sport due to Olympic reintroduction, may necessitate increasing the number of pools in the future.


Name: Sophie Shams

Nationality: Emirati (supports England)

Considering they are in Pool A, I think England are in the worst possible pool. They are up against Fiji who have some amazing talent, as well as Wales who were ranked higher and Australia, who are always tough competition.

If England don’t win the World Cup, I think New Zealand will. They are defending champions, have a very good skill set, vision and, most importantly, are the best at recycling, protecting and keeping the ball alive.

I was happy to see Tonga beat France with 19-14 at the last World Cup. It proved the lower tier nations have an important part to play in the event - and rugby in general. It proved the underdogs could outperform even the strongest sides.


I am looking forward to watching Jonathan Joseph, the centre for England. He is a great playmaker and overall player. I hope he has recovered from his previous injuries. I’m also looking forward to seeing Charlie Faumuina of the All Blacks as he has amazing footwork and is in the pack.


For countries who lack the funding of the richer nations, there should be a fund which could be used to encourage them to participate, by sponsoring team development in countries such as Kenya and Papua New Guinea. This would open up rugby to more players and make more of potential that is currently untapped.


Name: Anthony Hall

Nationality: Welsh

Wales have the attacking potential to score tries from any area of the field, particularly from broken play. We have a strong attacking force in our back three and options in the centres. Wales’ defensive structures are solid as was shown in their game against Ireland. The players will also remember the successes they had in the previous World Cup. They will go into this tournament believing they can win which has not always been the case.

Over the years we have suffered from a lack of consistency during tournaments and game management has been an issue. This could severely affect our ability to reach the later stages of the tournament, particularly considering the strength of the pool we are in. I believe this is our Achilles heel and must be addressed if we are to go out and win the tournament.

New Zealand are still the No 1 team in the world. They play with an intensity and skill level that is still superior to all other teams. There is also the motivation to win back to back championships which will make them very hard to beat. The All Blacks have to be seen as the front runners and so they are my pick (if Wales don’t achieve our dream!)


I’m looking forward to seeing two things. First, Wales topping their group. Second, a Wales vs New Zealand final. This was a game we were denied due to some poor refereeing in the last World Cup so that would be the game I would most like to see with the Welsh players lifting the cup at the end, of course.


I wouldn’t be happy only reaching the quarter-finals, even if it was offset by knocking England out in the group. While there will always be a great rivalry between Wales and England, we are there to take the title. If we do, then we will already have had to beat England along the way. For me becoming world champions is far more important than winning one single game.​

Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE