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Big question marks hang over a ‘mortal looking’ All Blacks pack at the Rugby World Cup, according to a leading UK rugby writer.
In a column forThe Guardian,rugby writer Robert Kitson has suggested the chasing pack sense a great opportunity to topple the All Blacks, three days out from the start of the tournament in Japan.
“A brief glance down the All Blacks forwards roster reinforces the sense there is no clear, runaway ante-post favourite,” Kitson said.
“If Brodie Retallick was fully fit things might be different but the world’s best lock may not be sighted before the knockout stages. In his absence New Zealand’s pack looks mortal, which is the only encouragement their rivals ever need.
“Already South Africa have given them a hurry-up by winning the Rugby Championship and the All Blacks will fly in with more question marks hanging over them than normal. No one is suggesting they are not genuine contenders but their opening pool game against the Springboks will be highly instructive. The Boks will start the tournament hard and fast and could easily puncture many casual assumptions from the outset.
“And if Rassie Erasmus’s powerful pack do make an early impact, who is to say they cannot go all the w
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