A final night decider in the 6 Nations?
A refreshed ‘Super Rugby’
World Cup Qualifiers
With France 2023 fast approaching, there will plenty of tension-filled qualifiers in 2022. The Rugby Europe championship only offers two automatic qualifying slots for the World Cup, based on accumulated results from 2021 and 2022. Georgia are favourites to take one slot, but only two league points separates Romania, Portugal, and Spain. This will make for hugely entertaining test matches, with all three nations producing some of their best form in the November Internationals.In the Americas, we could see a new nation qualify for the World Cup. If Chile can defeat USA in a two-leg series, they’ll become the first debutant nation at the World Cup since Russia in 2011. The South Americans defeated Canada and Russia in recent months with a creative, offloading brand of rugby. Hopefully World Rugby will stream these games on their YouTube channel, because it could be a historic moment for the underdog Chileans.
Gallagher Premiership Rugby in 2022
The turnaround of Leicester Tigers under Steve Borthwick has been quite something. They’ve pulled off numerous last-gasp escapes, and seeing if they can manage an undefeated season will be fascinating.continuous challenges in recent years. Whoever gets promoted, English rugby fans will have a Rocky-like story to get behind. Ealing Trailfinders are no doubt favourites, but Doncaster, Jersey, and Cornish Pirates remain in the mix.
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Women’s World Cup
2021’s Team of the Year, England Women, laid down a benchmark for the upcoming World Cup in New Zealand. The Black Ferns have only lost 12 matches in their entire history, with their biggest defeat of all time being just 12 points. England became the new team to beat, thrashing them twice in November. The balance of power has truly shifted.The concern for the upcoming World Cup is England will be too dominant. They have full-time professional contracts and superior player pathways to various nations. However, France are emerging as serious competition, and the Black Ferns will be fighting to regain their prime position. It would make a compelling story if semi-professional New Zealand can knock mighty England off their perch on home soil.
All Blacks v Ireland Tour
The Summer tests will include numerous three-match Test series. No doubt, the pick of the bunch will be Ireland looking to claim their first wins in New Zealand.The three-match Test series is a beautiful tradition in rugby. Arguably, the recent Lions series has left a bad taste in people’s mouths, but it’s rare to see a boring All Blacks game. After Ireland’s monumental triumph over New Zealand, various pundits and fans have questioned whether it can be backed up on Kiwi soil. If it’s anything like November’s legendary game in Dublin, we are in for a treat.
Pacific mega teams
The change in eligibility laws for test rugby was revolutionary. Allowing players to switch allegiance from one country to another could make test rugby far more competitive. Just look at what’s happened with Tonga in Rugby League, soaring to the World Cup semi-final in 2017, and currently third in the world rankings. Many fans have speculated about the new combinations we could see. In 2022, these rugby all-star sides could legitimately become a reality. The prospect of Charles Piutau for Tonga, Nathan Hughes for Fiji, or even Ma’a Nonu for Samoa makes the Pacific Islander tests a much greater spectacle. It’s rumoured that France are likely to face one of the Pacific Island nations in November. With these new star-studded line-ups, this could be an absolute classic.
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