Sunday 17 November 2019

The Left Wing - RWC Daily: Who will come out on top in quarter-final battles?

Warren Gatland (left), Eddie Jones (centre) and Rassie Erasmus (right).
Warren Gatland (left), Eddie Jones (centre) and Rassie Erasmus (right). Newsdesk Newsdesk

With Ireland and New Zealand taking a day off in Tokyo before team announcements tomorrow, Jonathan Bradley, Cian Tracey and Ruaidhri O'Connor take a look at the three other last eight clashes.

Can the hosts keep their run of success going against the Springboks in what will be a fascinating clash of styles and a re-match of their famous 2015 match in Brighton? Can Japan's quick hands beat Jacques Nienaber's rush defence? Will South Africa prove too strong or will the Brave Blossoms continue to surprise?

Down in Oita, England v Australia is a dream for reporters who are getting front-row seats in the battle for hearts and minds between Michael Cheika and Eddie Jones. On the pitch, Australia have more questions about their selection, but England haven't been tested. Form would suggest they'll be too strong, but the Wallabies are capable of a shock.

And on Sunday, Wales take on a France team who have had their traditional behind the scenes arguments and come into this game without really having fired a shot. Wales are well organised and have a Grand Slam behind them, but the French will always have a chance given the talent available.

The lads give their quarter-final predictions, although some are more definitive than others as Ruaidhri flip-flops over an Ireland win, with Jonathan confident of a first trip to the semi-finals and Cian predicting Schmexit.

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