For the New Zealand All Blacks, this season kicks off with the 2007 Iveco Series that should serve as starters before the main course. The RWC this year is a foregone conclusion as far as I am concerned. It would be a bonus for the Blacks after the Tri-Nations. I really do not see any nation in the world putting together a team strong enough, in such a short time after the All Blacks steamrolled all before them last year. This will be Daniel Carter's world cup.
Time for the English to officially hand over their bragging rights to the rightful owners during their reign the last four years! England confirmed it was a "two man" wonder with its dismal performances the last 4 years without retired Martin Johnson and the injury proned Jonny Wilkinson. The latest defeat was yesterday to the Boks in a record 10-58 score.
The strength of this year's Springboks and Wallabies can be gauged in the Tri-Nations but one can never write off the Wallabies. The Boks will undoubtedly be staying with the young side that is being groomed since last year but the feeling is that they will not be in time for the RWC. Northern Hemisphere sides? They will be making up the numbers in the RWC. Even host France will need all the home ground advantage it can get.
Fixtures to look out for before the RWC: