2023 Rugby World Cup pool B preview
Pool B of the 2023 Rugby World Cup promises to be an exciting group to watch, with five teams vying for two quarterfinal spots. Reigning champions South Africa will be the clear favorites, but they will face tough challenges from Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, and Romania.
South Africa, winners of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, will be looking to defend their title and become the first team to win back-to-back Rugby World Cups since New Zealand achieved the feat in 2011 and 2015. Led by experienced coach Jacques Nienaber and a strong core of players, including captain Siya Kolisi and flyhalf Damian Willemse, the Springboks will be a force to be reckoned with.
Ireland, currently ranked first in the world, will be hoping to make a deep run in the tournament. Led by coach Andy Farrell and captain Johnny Sexton, the Irish have a talented squad with plenty of experience. Key players to watch include scrumhalf Conor Murray, flanker Peter O'Mahony, and center Robbie Henshaw.
Coached by Gregor Townsend, Scotland will be looking to improve on their performance in the 2019 Rugby World Cup, where they were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Japan. The Scots have a talented backline, featuring stars like fullback Ollie Smith and wing Duhan van der Merwe, but will need to improve their forward play to make a deep run in the tournament.
Currently ranked 15th in the world, Tonga will be looking to cause some upsets in Pool B. Led by coach Toutai Kefu, Tonga have a number of talented players, including flyhalf Willy Havily and winger Solomone Kata. They will be hoping to replicate their performance in the 2019 Rugby World Cup, where they pushed both England and France close in their pool matches.
Finally, Romania, currently ranked 19th in the world, will be hoping to cause a few surprises in the tournament. Coached by Andy Robinson, the Romanians have a number of experienced players, including captain Mihai Macovei and prop Alexandru Gordas.
Overall, Pool B promises to be an intriguing group, with South Africa the favorites to top the group but strong challenges expected from Ireland and Scotland. The battle for the remaining quarterfinal spot will be hotly contested, with Tonga and Romania both capable of causing upsets. Fans can expect some thrilling rugby in this pool!