An All Black kit, dwarf throwing, extreme sports, royal indiscretions, ball tampering, intimidation of vulnerable girls in hotel rooms. Oh, and dour rugby. England sure do know how to make friends in New Zealand.
But putting aside all the off field shenanighans, England find themselves once again on the ‘easy’ side of the draw. They have shown their mettle to come from behind in two crucial matches in their pool games. This team plays ugly, they don't have the talent of half the other top tier teams in the competition, but they sure do know how to play tournament rugby.
If they get to the final, it would be a travesty. But stranger things have happened (just look at 2007).
Ferdy’s pick: semi finalists.
England. Again? No, not for me. I’ll admit they showed some promise in the last 12 months, more than I expected. They seemed to move the ball more and looked to be enjoying it at the same time, won the 6 Nations and only lost out on a Grand Slam to Ireland.
But that’s enough! They look rudderless in this tournament, and the goalkicking stands out as bad in a tournament where it has hurt all teams. And if Johnson gives in to tweaking his inside backs for this game as rumoured, they may slip further into a rabble having struggled to cross the line against decent opposition.
No. They aren’t good enough. Only an imploding France can save them. ... hang on!?
Lose to France by 5.