Newshub Roundtable: Fearless predictions for Rugby World Cup 2019

As endless words finally turn to actions in Japan, there's still time to consider what may come to pass over the next six weeks.

Our Newshub brains trust will be watching from near - on the ground at the tournament - and far - huddled around the TV at our Auckland newsroom - but have stuck their necks out with some fearless predictions.

Buckle up now, the fun is about to begin...

The Nehe Milner Skudder Award for international breakthrough player

 

Andrew Gourdie, Newshub sports presenter: Richie Mo'unga (NZ)

John Day, Newshub sports reporter: Romain Ntamack (France)

Luke Robinson, Newshub online sports reporter: Sevu Reece (NZ)

Kristina Eddy, Newshub sports reporter: Reece

George Bridge scores for the All Blacks
George Bridge scores for the All Blacks. Photo credit: Photosport

Ollie Ritchie, The Cup 19 podcast host: George Bridge (NZ)

Ross Karl, Newshub rugby editor: Joe Cokanasiga (England)

Flop of the tournament (player)

 

OR: Beauden Barrett (NZ)

AG: Johnny Sexton (Ireland)

JD: Sexton

LR: Dan Biggar (Wales)

KE: David Pocock (Australia)

Jonathan Sexton.
Jonathan Sexton. Photo credit: Image: Photosport

 

Flop of the tournament (team)

 

RK: France. I think Argentina will beat them and they won't get out of pool play.

KE: Australia

OR: Ireland

AG: France

JD: Australia

LR: Ireland

All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea.
All Blacks loose forward Ardie Savea. Photo credit: Image: Photosport

Player of the tournament

 

LR: Handre Pollard (South Africa)

RK: Ardie Savea (NZ)

KE: Sevu Reece (NZ)

OR: Siya Kolisi (South Africa)

AG: Beauden Barrett (NZ)

JD: Savea

 

Most likely upset

 

JD: Fiji to beat Australia

LR: Scotland beats Ireland

RK: Japan could beat Scotland - that would get the host country fired up.

KE: United States to beat England

OR: Japan to beat Scotland

AG: Nothing outrageous, but I'm picking Argentina to beat France and England to top Pool C.

Japan celebrating after their upset over South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
Japan celebrating after their upset over South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo credit: Image: Getty

Semi-finalists

 

AG: New Zealand, South Africa, England & Argentina

JD: New Zealand, South Africa, England & Wales

LR: New Zealand, South Africa, England & Australia

RK: New Zealand v England, South Africa v Australia

KE: New Zealand, South Africa, England & Wales

OR: New Zealand v England, South Africa v Wales

Winners

 

OR: South Africa

AG: New Zealand

JD: New Zealand

LR: South Africa

RK: New Zealand - I'm not 100 percent sure on this, but the All Blacks have players and coaches who know how to win. They also are favourites for every game they play, so based on that, I'll tenatively pick them over South Africa or England.

KE: New Zealand

Essential Guide to 2019 Rugby World Cup

Everything you need to know about rugby and the World Cup...

The ninth Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 in Japan - the first time it has been hosted in Asia.

Join us for live updates of Rugby World Cup 2019 from September 20

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