in Japan, this year, rugby has not lost the North

England and Wales face respectively New Zealand and South Africa in the semi-finals. In 2015, the last square of the World Cup was composed solely of countries of the Southern Hemisphere.

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The Australians congratulate the British after their quarter-victory on 19 October 2019 in Oita, Japan.
The Australians congratulate the British after their quarter-victory on 19 October 2019 in Oita, Japan. Charly Triballeau / AFP

The outfit floats more than the rugby jerseys. Wide sleeves, bent at the waist, this is the costume of Emperor Naruhito, Tuesday, October 22. A holiday in Tokyo, like everywhere in Japan. That of his solemn enthronement, five months after taking office, so to speak. Eddie Jones sees matter in "A beautiful parallel ". "This is a page in the history of Japan that is turning, reminds the coach of England, and it's also a page in Rugby World Cup history that will turn. "

English and Welsh face respectively in the semifinals of New Zealand and South Africa, Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27, in Yokohama. Two more northern nations than the previous World: in 2015, and for the first time, all the semi-finalists came from one hemisphere, the South.

Read also Rugby World Cup 2019: Australia, colossus with clay feet

Today, things are happening without Australia and Argentina, pulled out of the World Cup. The Wallabies were eliminated in the quarterfinals, after a heavy defeat (40-16) against England a week ago. And the Pumas disappeared even earlier, sketched in the first round by France and the same England.

The crumbs of the feast

Just a month ago, just before the ninth World Cup, Jonny Wilkinson announced the tournament "The most open we've ever seen". The former opener of England rarely speaks. And when he condescends, it is in the context of advertising operations. As in this interview at Agence France-Presse, in September, on the sidelines of a shoot for a bank.

His prognosis: " New Zealand remains a favorite but there are European teams that are really powerful. (…) Maybe we can dream of another European name on the trophy. " English can speak. Only a northern country has already won the competition: England, in 2003, on the field of Australia, after a drop of "Sir" Jonny. The crumbs of the treat.

"I do not believe in those stupidities that speak of the northern hemisphere against the southern hemisphere. Eddie Jones, Australian, coach of England

Other editions? Gluttoned by South Africa (1995 and 2007), Australia (1991 and 1999), and especially New Zealand, already triple world champion (1987, 2011 and 2015). The All Blacks have both won the first edition and the last two in date.


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