Next year now: Eight bold rugby predictions for 2019

Following an enthralling 2019, we make our predictions for this year.

1. Warren Gatland takes over the Wallabies

He is a contender to replace both Steve Hansen at the helm of his homeland and Eddie Jones in the highly paid England job. But, if Rugby Australia can afford him, he also appeals as a steady and sensible choice to coach the Wallabies.

2. Japan to shock the world again

Their win over the Springboks in 2015 was one of world sport’s greatest upsets and while opponents will be on guard this time they will beat Russia in Pool A, should beat Samoa and might beat Scotland.

Rugby Union – South Africa v Japan – IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Pool B – Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton, England – 19/9/15
Japan celebrate victory after the match
Reuters / Eddie Keogh