This Friday sees the 7th quadrennial (every 4 years) Rugby World cup begin in New Zealand. Now it may not have the glamour and popularity as it's football counterpart, however it can be just as, if not more exciting to watch, you just have to watch the 2003 final where a Johnny Wilkinson drop goal in the dying seconds won the cup for England in a hard fought match against Australia to see evidence of this. I also experienced the thrill of a world cup match first hand when i attended Scotland v Zimbabwe at Murrayfield in 1991, what an an amazing atmosphere it was inside the ground.
Whereas in football, the likes of Brazil Germany and Spain are dominant forces, in rugby, the big guns are New Zealand,Australia and current champions South Africa, and with the event taking place in New Zealand one would have to place them as odds on favourites to win on home soil, but the other countries wont just lie down and hand them the cup.
There are some great matches to look forward to in the group stages, the main one for me will be my country Scotland take on our bitter rivals England in pool B,with both teams expected to make the knockout stages, this should be a battle for top spot, however with the ever improving Argentina in the group and potential shock troops Georgia and Romania also there, anything could happen.
Whatever happens during the tournament, and whoever is playing in the final on October 23rd, one thing is for sure, you will not regret tuning in to watch.