With 500 days to go before the eighth Rugby World Cup gets under way, tickets will soon be on general sale and qualifying is reaching its climax for the lower tier nations still scrapping it out for a place in the tournament.
This is the second time the Webb Ellis Cup has been played for in England. Back in 1991 Will Carling’s men lost to Australia in a nervy final after a tournament that boosted the game’s profile for those few weeks.
Fast-forward to the present day and the sport—and the physiques of those who play it—has changed beyond recognition.
The dawn of professionalism, the injection of TV cash and sponsorship money now sees club matches played in front of 80,000 fans. Cross border tournaments generate millions of pounds and a tournament coming back to England, a country with an impressive CV for hosting major global sports events and a reputation to uphold, means this could be a tournament to remember.
This is a country capable of doing it better than any other. Here is why this will be the best Rugby World Cup ever.