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Rugby World Cup opening match preview

Every four years, the twenty greatest national teams in world rugby come together to compete for the title of winners of the Rugby World Cup.

This year the tournament will take place in England with many expecting it to be one of the most closely-competed affairs in rugby history. And with the opening match set to pit the home side against the unknown quantity that is Fiji, it looks like it could be an explosive start to this acclaimed competition.

82688291 rugbyworldcup Rugby World Cup opening match preview

As England is often considered to be the home of rugby, the English side will be under an incredible amount of pressure to perform well when the opening match kicks off at Twickenham Stadium on 18 September. And with it being 24 years since the tournament was last held in England, many are expecting great things from the home nation.

With the fearsome All Blacks showing exceptional form with recent decisive wins against the likes of the Springboks, the side would have to have a sudden change in fortunes in order to let England win 2015′s World Cup. However, the English side have been consistently placed highly in the world rankings, and many would hope that the home advantage could power the home side to glory.

The English side will expect that the introduction of ex-rugby league player Sam Burgess will give them an extra bit of firepower in the inside centre position. But with head coach Stuart Lancaster still to decide who his key players will be, it’s open for speculation as to what the final England line up will look like.

However, large sporting tournaments are notorious for their ability to create humiliating upsets, and that’s why England must be particularly on their guard against the Fijian side.

Whilst they might not be one of the bigger names in world rugby, Fiji have nonetheless acquired a tough reputation for their power and dexterity on the pitch.

Recent successful performances have pushed them up to ninth position in the world rankings, and their role as underdogs will undoubtedly provide them with a ‘nothing-to-lose’ attitude in this highly anticipated encounter.

Key to the Fijians chances of causing an upse twould be the performances of their star players Leone Nakawara and Nikola Matawalu. Both players were on tremendous form at the recent Pacific Nations Cup where the team were declared champions after a highly entertaining 39-29 win over Samoa.

But with 82,000 fans expected to pack out Twickenham Stadium for the opening match, it promises to be yet another keenly-fought Rugby World Cup opener.

 

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