Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Well I never!

Wales could stay clear of big guns New Zealand, England and Australia in their World Cup pool if they beat France on Saturday.
A victory away in Paris, combined with an Irish defeat to Six Nations champions England, would see the Welsh team jump up to fourth in the world rankings.
That would mean them avoiding the other teams in the top four in their World Cup group, with the draw for the 2019 tournament in Japan to be made in May, based on the rankings after this final weekend of the Championship.
It’s a far cry from this time last week when Wales were facing the prospect of finishing outside the top eight and ending up in another group of death.
But their 22-9 triumph over Ireland has ensured that can’t happen and moved them up to sixth in the rankings.
Regardless of how the Scots fare at home to Italy, Wales would go above them with a win over France, as it would be an away victory over a higher-ranked side than the Azzurri.
And if Ireland lose to Grand Slam-chasing England in Dublin, then Rob Howley’s Welsh team would go up to fourth with a success in Paris. They wouldn’t need a bonus point. Any win would suffice.
That would see them pooled with one team ranked 5-8 in Japan, plus three other lesser sides in the World Cup draw.
So, if Wales beat France on Saturday afternoon, I will be supporting England against Ireland. Didn't see that one coming.

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