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“The Competition Now Begins in Earnest” – John Mitchell on the Quarter-final Stage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup

The excitement of the 2015 Rugby World Cup (RWC) is heating up, with teams preparing for the quarter finals scheduled for 17 and 18 October.

Mitch: The Real StoryJohn Mitchell, one of the most highly regarded and controversial coaches in international rugby and the subject of Mitch: The Real Story co-written with Gavin Rich, has written a column for ESPN in which he reflects on the eight teams set to fight it out this weekend.

On Saturday South Africa will be facing Wales, while New Zealand (Mitchell’s former team) will play against France. Sunday sees Ireland and Argentina in one game, and Australia and Scotland in another. The winners from these four matches will battle it out in the semi-finals on 24 and 25 October, with the final of the 2015 Rugby World Cup to be played on Saturday, 31 October.

“Now that we have reached the quarter-final stage of the 2015 RWC, the competition begins in earnest,” Mitchell writes, remembering his own experience in the competition before analysing each team’s chances.

Read the article to see what he says about our boys in green and gold:

Team selection will be critical for the Springboks. Eben Etzebeth and Lood de Jager are their best locking combination, but Heyneke Meyer may opt to start veteran Victor Matfield at No.5 because of the experience he brings to the team. I firmly believe that Meyer needs to start players who will lift the side’s intensity from the outset, put their bodies on the line and get them over the advantage line. Moreover, he must select substitutes who can make an impact when they come on, help lift the tempo and finish off the match with a flourish.

Head on over to the official RWC website for all you need to know about the biggest rugby event in the world – including facts, fixtures, photographs and team information:

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