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Will it be heartbreak for French fans once again?
Every rugby tournament has one Pool of Death, and for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Pool D is every nation's nightmare.
2011 World Cup finalists France are joined by fellow RBS Six Nations competitors Ireland and Italy in a pool that is also likely to feature strong qualifying teams from North America and Europe. The French will be keen to put the haunting memories of their 2011 performances to rest, but one wonders where their respite is likely to come from. In Pool D, every match is likely to be a fight to the finish.
The French will know their Irish and Italian opponents well by the time 2015 rolls around (not that it will make those matches any easier), but they will also be challenged by two yet-to-be-determined qualifiers who will be looking to make waves of their own.
Possible opponents for the three presumed "favourites" include Canada, America, Russia, Romania or the brutally physical Georgians. All of these Tier 2 nations will have had years to make use of the same IRB strategic investment dollars that have helped Samoa reach their current heights in world rugby, and all will arrive with high ambitions.
Just ask the French side who took on Canada at the 1991 World Cup about underestimating a lesser-known opponent. That pool match elevated Canada in the eyes of the rugby world, as the Canadians went through to their only quarterfinal appearance in Rugby World Cup history.
In such a pool as this, there is no factor too small to consider. What role will injuries play in the pool's round-robin matches? Who will hold the advantage in the number of rest days? Perhaps most importantly, can any nation, let alone two, emerge from such a pool strong enough to take on even more powerful opposition in the quarterfinal stages?
The rugby gods seem to have conspired against the occupants of Pool D at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, but for the pure rugby fan, there is no greater joy. Upsets are everywhere to be had and the age-old notion of an established hierarchy in world rugby is likely to be finally turned on its head.
The only drawback is that we all must wait so long for the action to begin!