OPENER: England beat Ireland

Welcome back to the big time coach Eddie Jones and England.

Written off by many as serious contenders for this year’s World Cup, there was talk of Jones getting the axe towards the end of last season.

Having finished fifth in the Six Nations in 2018, Jones and his men certainly didn’t enjoy the best of years.

Then they went to Dublin on Saturday and shocked many by beating Ireland 32-20 in the opening round of the northern-hemisphere showpiece.

Now personally, I will never write off Jones or England for that matter.

And they proved that this year’s World Cup will be wide open.

By beating New Zealand in November last year, Ireland proved that the mighty All Blacks can be overthrown.

And suddenly there was an air of invincibility surrounding Joe Schmidt’s Irish team.

Heading into the match against England, they won 18 of their last 19 matches and had a home run of 12 unbeaten games.

Jones' Roses, though, brought an end to that.

And suddenly there are no clear favourites for this year’s World Cup.

Yes, you can’t write off New Zealand to hold onto the title they won at the last tournament.

And yes, you can’t write off Ireland after this defeat.

But in England and South Africa, you have two teams that will smell blood.

With the Poms having beaten Ireland now and the Springboks having beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand, I foresee an exciting, open chase for the William Webb Ellis trophy.

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