Apologies if this topic has been set up somewhere else but i wanted a broad discussion on all teams after the autumn international series.. Just what peoples thoughts are 2 years from the world cup.. I am just going to give ye my opinion on all teams and hope ye will do likewise... here goes: Australia: To me, they seem to be building nicely. After seeing them first hand in Croke Park, i must admit they impressed me and on that day shouldve easily won the game. i think this game actually knocked them back a bit for the scotland game but we saw their true worth in Cardiff... i think in the current rugby climate they play a near complete game...their scrum is much improved and they have invented a machine in pocock....this kid frightens me...he is a quick ball destroyer as well as being a fantastic loose forward....they have the most inventive backline in world rugby while their forwards posess scintilating handling and ball carrying skills.. on the deck they have improved and blew ireland to bits at times with the counter ruck.. I like the look of Quad Cooper... seems a classy stepper and acurate kicker from the hands..their back three arent as exciting as teams of old but arent killing bad either.. the scrum half looks a star in the making also... If Giteu can kick the goals and they find a better lineout then they will be dark horses for the tournament...watch this space.. New Zealand: I think these guys will always prodce world class XV's but their problem is they cant vary their game enough... they easily play the most eye catching rugby but against the best defenses in the game, this will haunt them as shown in the last two world cups... their offloading and game breaking skills are unparalled and i wish all teams could play like them.. but for me this is their strongest and weakest point.. As the boks showed this year, with an organised defense and Knick Knacks like Heinrick Brusow they are well beatable... they need a few more strigns to their bow i believe.. Over reliant on McCaw and Carter (who is the best player in the world at present) to make things happen...but who wouldnt.. Carter is the glue that binds them.. man is this kid something else... will the pressuere get to them on their home turf.. or can graham the autumn king add a few more cogs to their slightly predictable machine.... will be my favourites though!!!!!!!!!!!!!! South Africa: Will be there or thereabouts... unlike New Zealand they almost totally rely on a kicking game and a giant pack to butcher teams off the park.. behind the scrum they seem to lack invention and footballing skills and nous.. But that said they have 3-4 of the best forwards in loose rugby by a long margin and have this pressure based game mastered..they squeezed the life out of austrailia, Nz and the lions but god help them if the others bring similar packs to the table... i think they are also handicapped by a coach who lacks invention and Plans B,C & D... this could hurt them but they will be right in the mix as history has shown us... Ireland: For me they are the strongest Northern Hemisphere team at the moment... and if you are from france suck it up... Ireland have a quality backline, possibly the second strongest in world rugby after the all blacks.. In Rob Kearney (Arguably the best 15 in the game) and BOD there is world class while Kieth Earls is a bombshell waiting to explode.. Tommy Bowe runs great lines and in Sexton we may see a world class operator....although this is premature... The big problem for Ireland will be getting the ball to them.. the pack is ok to good in the loose, poor in the scrum but has a world class lineout as shown by their exploits v the boks and Aussies... however Ireland lack a world class openside which is like going to the shop without money in my humble opinion..... The great teams have them and since Ireland dont have one, cannot be considered a great team... or cannot be considered contenders..will do well to get past quaters... a favourable draw maybe!! i can dream! France: As stated above, not the strongest team in NH..they mangled an average Bok team and were shown up v the all blacks.. they dont have a fly half to control the game..bottom line... trin duc is lost. Michelak is a birdbrain at times while beauxis isnt bad but is injured or something at present and seems to rely heavily on the boot... there is no denying the fact that they have probably more talent (bar at outhalf)than all of the other NH teams put together but their coach seems to be in cloud cukoo land at the best of times... His matchday selections can be scatterbrained to the extreme and his tactics seem devoid of any shape or game pattern... They do posess some gifted broken field runners both in the back row and behind the scrum as they have had always and will come to the tournament bringing marvellous french flair but for me this flair is seldom seen and most admired... Will do well to make a semi final in my opinion.... Argentina: In my opinion they left the tournament after them last time out..play with great heart but rely too much on a kicking game, the up and under! they posess one of the best players in world rugby in juan martin hernadez but if he gets injured they are totally lost... still with their magnificent pack i wouldnt fancy drawing them at any stage during the competition... Imagine how good they will become when they enter the tri nations and their players start plaing in the Super 14...... its a scary thought 5 years down the line!! Wales: Next in line after Ireland and france... they have some gifted players but just lack something to make them world beaters... im not sure what.. their defense coached by a great defensive co-ordinator left them down badly which seems to be a continuous problem... They are the nearest thing to the ripoff All Blacks in their style of play in the NH. They are just simply a good team..typified by their steady to good outhalf!! there pack to me isnt dynamic enough and they dont have enough world class throughout their squad.. i think the nations expectation doesnt help and neither did the game v the Aussies... It seems Gatland has taken them as far as he can.. strength in depth seems to be a problem... England: Where to begin.. i watched them over the autumn with disgust and despair... Id often watch the premier league to see what our old neighbors are getting up to and the international team is no reflection of the stuff that goes on there... I found it hard to believe Ben Foden for example didnt get a run this year.. Think the guy is a smashing bit of stuff..dynamic and inventive... Gerathy was class in the heineken cup (ask my team) yet seemed rigid and afraid when playing for his country... Cipriani has been mistreated... if that talent was in any other nation... I think Johnson rules with an iron fist and his team play like it on the field... they are boring and seem torn between the game they play naturally for their clubs and the one with which he wants to play... The crazy selections like ugo moyne at fullback and any goode in general just make me wonder wtf? I believe they are the sleeping giant of world rugby and with the right man at the helm could be dangerous... there is genuine game breaking talent in their ranks.. Spare a thought for the once majestic Wilkinson.. i grew up in awe of this man and it pains me now to see one of the greatest modern players playing in reverse.. whether by instruction or intuition he is playing 20 yards away from the gain line and defenses are rubbing their paws in sight of him... Shame.. Scotland: Didnt see them play so cant really comment.. i thought they were appauling in last years 6 nations highlighted by the lack of players in the lions squad, run by a scottish coach.. they are doing well to be competitive and the scap off australia wil bolster their believes for the upcomming 6 nations. So lads, thats my take on the major teams in the world game.... I hope this will spark good debate!