The 4 year wait is almost up, and we're 2 weeks away from the start of the 2023 Rugby (Union) World Cup in France. France kick it all off on Friday 8th September against the All Blacks. World Rugby made a big cockup in making the draw for the groups 3 years ahead of the tournament, with the current top 5 ranked teams in the world all ending up in one half of the draw (Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, France and Scotland). They've admitted the mistake by saying they'll make the draw for the next tournament in 2027 closer to the tournament itself, but it's too late for this one and only 2 of the top 5 will make the semi-finals from that side of the draw. Even worse (from a Scotland perspective!) is we're in a group with Ireland (#1 currently) and South Africa (#3 and defending champions) and have a massive task to even get out of the group (top 2 qualify for the quarter-finals). Scotland on the other side of the draw would have been a good bet to make the semi finals. England, Wales, Australia and Argentina all should have much easier tasks on the other side of the draw, but 3 of them have not being playing great recently (Argentina maybe the exception) and there could be a shock or two advancing from the groups. England lost to Fiji yesterday in a warm-up game in England, the first time they've ever lost to them, and have been playing pretty badly recently (think it's 6 of last 7 games they've lost). If I had to pick a winner at stage, I'd say it would be South Africa, or maybe France as the hosts. You can never write NZ off, and Ireland have been the best team in the world for last couple of years but I don't trust them in the big tournament as they don't have a great WC record.