A sporting chance: Can England win big at the Rugby World Cup, Euro 2020 and Tokyo 2020?
The coming year could hold a lot of excitement for British sport, with the Rugby World cup quarter-finals around the corner, the Euros almost within reach and the 2020 Olympics to look forward to next summer. But what can England really expect from the sporting season, and where do our biggest strengths lie?
Can England tackle their way to a Rugby World Cup win?
This Saturday will see England will play their semi-final heat against Australia in the fight for the Rugby World Cup. Despite Australia having beaten England 25 times in their history, as opposed to England’s 24, the national team have won the last 6 games under the leadership of Eddie Jones. Both nations are undoubtedly strong sides, but even if England progress they will come across some equally tough opposition. New Zealand, South Africa, Wales and France all have well-earnt reputations and reasonable odds, with the All Blacks as the bookies’ favourites. Japan, too, have been worthy contenders at the first world cup to be hosted in Asia. It has just been revealed that Jones has made the surprising decision to drop fly-half George Ford for the next game (in order to “defend with brutality”), but if his decision pays off and England can beat the Wallabies – you never know, it’s a bit like playing a casino game – they still have a high chance of success, providing they can hold out under pressure.
Will the Lions find their stride at Euro 2020?
Though England’s game on Monday night was tragically overshadowed by racist behaviour, leading to the rolling out of UEFA protocol and the eviction of fans from the stadium, the team nonetheless stormed to victory to win 6-0 over Bulgaria. This fighting spirit and impressive resilience could prove vital over the coming months, as the team are now on the cusp of qualifying for Euro 2020. There was disappointment in the air when England lost 2-1 to the Czech Republic on Friday night, especially given their success last year during the 2018 World Cup when they made it all the way to the semi-finals. However, with their last win, the team simply need to achieve a draw against Montenegro in a home game on the 14th November to secure their place in the competition. If Southgate continues on an upward streak, there is still hope yet.
Can Great Britain climb the medal table at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?
Despite winning 67 medals at the Rio Olympics in 2016, predictions for GB have dropped significantly for next year, with Gracenote forecasting a tally of 43. This would place us in fifth on the tables, behind the US, China, Japan and Russia, which is still an impressive position for a nation of our size. Great Britain have set the bar very high in recent years, notably excelling in rowing, cycling and gymnastics (in Rio this is where the team picked up 11 of their 27 gold medals). However, figures are lower this year, with these disciplines predicted to produce seven podium places. Nonetheless, progress is set to be made in other areas: predictions show that this will be the first Olympic games in which Britain has more female than male athletes.
The editorial unit