It doesn’t just affect those big countries with aspirations of going all the way in the tournament, it also affects the viewing figures and general interest in the World Cup.
Halfpenny’s absence could be particularly tough in a pool where points difference could be a factor in deciding which teams go through to the last eight.
The really good sides have the ability to cope with, and overcome, that pressure which is what makes them such formidable opponents and current tournament favourites. “We’re looking forward to seeing what the tournament has in store for us and our new ambassadors will have plenty to say as the drama unfolds”.
“You want to go out there and make them proud and play well because you represent them”.
Rugby fever is building in England ahead of the start. The Webb Ellis trophy was taken on Thursday to Prime Minister David Cameron’s official Downing Street residence. It was the whistle used by Gil Evans, a Welsh referee overseeing a game between England and New zealand in 1905.
Once again the All Blacks will have to contain the passion of the opposition desperate to cope with their awesome reputation. Victory over New Zealand is one of the most highly-prized scalps in sport.
The best way to watch the Rugby World Cup 2015 is to head over to the ITV website and load up their ITV Player.
Second row Geoff Parling agrees that Fiji should be wary of England, who will be wearing their red change and preparing in their away dressing room.
– Twickenham was the venue for the only previous World Cup meeting between the sides, with England running out 45-24 winners in 1999.
“It is a beast of a thing to try and win”.
Jamie Roberts, the Wales centre who is regarded as one of the most physical backs in European rugby, has said it is the ultimate “man test” facing Nadolo.
I would love it to be England but they’re in a very tough group with Australia and Wales. Add that to the existing pool of spoiler teams and all of a sudden the pool stages become more relevant. The nightmare scenario for the hosts – commercially and in terms of maintaining public interest – is an early England exit.
“It feels the same for me in this tournament, you can feel the support building and we’ll see that on Friday“.
“We know England is a world class team and they will come firing tomorrow, it’s a home game and the first game”.
As well as the excitement of Friday’s opening game between England and Fiji, there is a very busy weekend with four matches on both Saturday and Sunday.
Mumm said the number of familiar faces around the squad, including his former NSW teammate Kane Douglas meant he was able to slip back into the Wallabies side easily.