Rugby World Cup 2023 promises to be a carnival as lopsided draw threatens the old order amid...
The 10th Rugby World Cup is about to begin across the Channel and is set to be the greatest global showpiece the sport has ever seen.
From the moment hosts France and dangerous, wounded New Zealand lock horns in the opener in Paris on Friday night, the tournament is destined to unfold as a glorious antidote to the recent gloom around rugby.
It promises to be an enthralling and unpredictable eight-week sporting spectacular.
Mail Sport's CHRIS FOY dives into what awaits...
MIND THE GAP
This will be a chronically imbalanced World Cup, due to the premature draw which has left all the strongest teams in one half.
It is ludicrous that two of France, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa will be out after the quarter-finals, as they are all potential champions, but this extreme bunching of contenders means greater scope for shocks.
There are two Pools of Death: Pool B, where Scotlands rise ensures it wont be plain sailing for the Springboks and Irish, and Pool C, featuring Australia, Wales, Fiji and Georgia plus minnows Portugal, where the presence of Eddie Jones and Warren Gatland has the mind games covered.