The problem with the Rugby World Cup is that the format of the tournament is damaging to the sport because there are too many matches that are embarrassingly one-sided.

Sport is of no interest when you know what the result is going to be before the match has started. And nobody outside the two competing nations cares that South Africa trashed Namibia 87-0 and romped home with no fewer than 12 tries. Big deal. Wake me up when the real tournament starts in the quarter-final knockout stages.

Too many meaningless games
at Rugby World Cup

I am all in favour of giving the emerging nations a platform at the Rugby World Cup. But in my opinion it would be far more exciting for everyone concerned if the the tournament was seeded so that the group stages are only contested by the weaker nations.

Why not give the top eight countries a bye to the knockout stages – and the rest can play out the group stages to compete for another eight places so we start the sudden death part of the tournament with the top 16 nations. Now that would raise the stakes and cut out the meaningless walkovers.

If that is too radical we could use the same formula and the last 16 could be split into four groups of  four teams competing for a place in the quarter-finals. Either way it would be far more exciting than the current out-dated format being played out in New Zealand.


Rugby fans want to see golden rugby like this classic try scored by France against New Zealand at the 2007 Rugby World Cup . . .