Trends & Features

Leading experts and thousands of fans tip France as favourites for the 2023 Rugby World Cup

RugbyPass asked its 80,000+ strong fanbase to use its own Rugby World Cup team predictor tool and make their respective selections on which nations would both qualify from each Pool and then progress through the knockout stages. From the data RugbyPass has gathered, it has found that an overwhelming majority (36%) of its thousands of members believe that France will be the team most likely to lift the coveted Webb Ellis Cup on October 28.

A look at the wider data produced by the predictor tool shows that second-most likely winners are New Zealand – who were the preferred side of 20% of rugby fans. The third-most is current world number one-ranked side, Ireland, who were picked by just 17%.

In addition, over half of the fanbase (56%) believes that France will also top Pool A over New Zealand and potentially defeat the likes of South Africa and England to progress through to the final. The rest of the findings from the data are available here:

RugbyPass has also turned to a selection of its own pundits, journalists and content creators to get their expert insights and predictions, and each one also backed France for Rugby World Cup glory. Their reasons for this range from France having the home advantage during the tournament, to the side’s development within the game and their top players.

One of RugbyPass’ key Creative Directors and former Scotland international, Jim Hamilton, had this to say about why he believes France will win:

“If you look at France’s growth within the sport, with key examples being the dominance of French sides in Champions Cup and the quality in the Top 14, it’s hard not to see them coming out on top. It’s been an unbelievable few years for France and everything points towards them [winning] here and where better to do it than in what will be an absolutely bouncing Stade de France?”

Another former Scotland international and RugbyPass pundit, Johnnie Beattie, also gave his thoughts on France’s chances in the tournament: “France are playing with a lot of flair, as they’ve got one of the best attack coaches on the planet right now in Fabien Galthié. Also, the Stade de France will be hugely intimidating throughout the tournament making it a difficult place for opposition sides to come and play – which could be the edge France needs to become world champions.”

Owain Jones, one of RugbyPass’ and also rugby’s top and most-respected journalists, offered these comments on his predictions: “I’m going to go for France, and only on the basis that Les Bleus would theoretically have a full-strength squad that would surely be fired up on home soil, led by the talismanic Antoine Dupont. It’ll be a rip-roaring final when they get there, and I back them to win it by 5-10 points.”

Whether the predictions prove to be accurate will become clear once the tournament is well underway next month. The opening game on Friday September 8 could also prove to be pivotal, as France will be taking on New Zealand at the Stade de France. Should the host nation win this major clash, it will only serve to strengthen the validity of the predictions made by RugbyPass’ fanbase and experts.

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