Pool D: Australia, Wales, Fiji, Georgia, Uruguay
Given the ability of Australia, Wales and Fiji to beat each other, it would not surprise if the winner of this pool actually drops a game, but finishes on top due to a superior for-and-against points differential. That would favour the Wallabies, but the benefit of finishing top depends on how Pool C ends up. For example, the Wallabies could top their group and still face England if Eddie Jones’ men slip up.
I think the Wallabies will progress. After a promising Rugby Championship it is hard to see them losing to Fiji and Wales, who they play in their first two games.
The question, then, is whether the Wallabies can go deep into the competition. The short answer is yes. They will be well rested before the quarter-final stage and should have had the opportunity to introduce potential star Jordan Petaia into the mix against Georgia and Uruguay.
The Wallabies would be a decent bet to handle a battered France or Argentina in the quarter-finals – even England if they lost the Vunipola brothers – and suddenly the final would be in view.
Dare to dream Wallabies fans, because the tournament structure and the apparent togetherness of the playing group are pointing in your direction.