Rating the 5 Major Rugby World Cup Contenders After Their First Fixtures

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Rating the 5 Major Rugby World Cup Contenders After Their First Fixtures
David Rogers/Getty Images

Yes, it's an early stage to read into how the biggest contenders are looking in their respective quests to add the Webb Ellis Cup to their cabinet.

And it may also seem like a big presumption that there are five serious contenders for the tournament. So let me justify myself.

The big five are, and have always been, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, England, and France. With no disrespect to the likes of Ireland, Wales or Samoa, to win a World Cup a side will often have to play against three of those teams and that kind of effort is incredibly difficult.

What follows is my own analysis of how those five teams performed in their first outing, in relation to how they should have, and what areas look important for the tournament.

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