Watch Brian Moore choose his winner
With the Rugby World Cup 2023 almost upon us, it is time to start making your predictions.
Will hosts France finally break their drought? Will it be South Africa who retain the title? Or will Steve Borthwick’s England revolution result in his team lifting the Webb Ellis Cup at the Stade de France on October 28?
Ahead of the tournament starting on Friday, September 8 with France v New Zealand, columnist and former England and Lions hooker Brian Moore has played Telegraph Sport’s interactive predictor to pick his winner. You can watch the full video at the top of the page, and also play your own predictor experience here.
Moore, who played in the first three Rugby World Cups, including in England’s 1991 final defeat by Australia, went for the climax of the 2023 tournament being a repeat of the opening game, with France eventually coming out on top against the All Blacks.
As for England, he reckons his former side have seen improvements under Borthwick so far, albeit uneven ones. But he has backed them to emerge victorious from Group D, which also features Japan, Argentina, Samoa and Chile.
Wales and Ireland also make the knockouts in Moore’s view, with Scotland the only home nation team not to progress beyond the pool stage in his predictions, squeezed out of a top-two place in Group B by South Africa and Ireland.
That sets up a juicy quarter-final between England and Wales, with Borthwick’s team victorious and France also overcoming Ireland in their match. As for the Rugby Championship clashes, Australia will prove too strong for Argentina while New Zealand’s ability to move teams around will give them the edge over defending champions South Africa, according to Moore.
There will be a victory for both a northern and southern hemisphere side at the semi-finals stage, with New Zealand overcoming Eddie Jones’s Australia and France taking out England to reach the final.
“The pressure that France will be under if they don’t perform well could be inhibiting,” says Moore. “However, if they play well and the groundswell of opinion in France supports them, it could be a very invigorating factor. If France do make it, I think they’ll win – although I don’t really like saying that!”