With the group stages of the World Cup in full swing, Tribute Cornish Pale Ale talks to the Cornish Pirates about the teams they think we should be looking out for as the tournament hots up.
Suva Ma’asi, 21, Hooker
I want England to win obviously, but at the same time I’m cheering on my own little country, Tonga, they haven’t done too badly. I think it’ll be a New Zealand, England final. It’s been an awesome tournament so far; the Japanese clearly love it, especially after that amazing win against Ireland, which is great for the sport.
John Stevens, back row, 24
Originally, I thought South Africa would be a real challenge to New Zealand, but they didn’t look that good in their first game, did they? I think France are the dark horse, their first half against Argentina is the best rugby they’ve played in a while, and they always turn up at World Cups. But naturally New Zealand have to be favourites.
Nicolas De Battista, 28, Centre
Obviously New Zealand are favourites, but looking at it now, you also have Wales, England, and Argentina still in it as well. I think the semi-finals will be two from the Northern Hemisphere and two from the Southern Hemisphere, that would be nice for the sport.
Brett Beukeboom, 29, lock
There’s been some physical games so far, it’s an attritional tournament (Brett played in the 2015 World Cup for Canada). I hope England are in the final, but I’m not too sure which team they will meet. It’s the first time in my memory that there have been so many teams in contention.
Matt Jess, Assistant Coach
It’s one of the most open tournaments in a long time. New Zealand is a massive danger, England has a chance for sure, more than we did in 2015. I think the English players are coming into good form, the likes of Anthony Watson look especially sharp. The tier two nations have really impressed me, they have some experienced international coaches now which is paying off. I’d love to see us [England] in the final against New Zealand, but I also think France look good, they have a great blend of players, they can be a team that creeps up unnoticed.