2019 Rugby World Cup: Get your sweepstake and wallchart

There’s just a week to go until the Rugby World Cup, and that means it’s time to get your office sweepstake underway.

Will you be one of the lucky ones to end up drawing the All Blacks, England or South Africa? Or will you be forced to adopt Namibia or Russia, and cheer on some plucky underdogs?

Download the Herald‘s sweepstake here, or simply use it as a wallchart, to find out when all the games are on, fill in all the scores, and learn some key facts about the teams involved.

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While most people would want to draw the All Blacks, the field is wide open with South Africa, England, Ireland and Wales having all put down markers of late – and one company’s analysis says the All Blacks aren’t the favourites.

Esportif, one of the world’s leading player representation companies, have published their analysis of the 31-man squads through their intelligence division and there are some interesting takeaways from their forensic look at each of the 20 sides participating in the tournament.

They have produced a ‘data score’ for each team based on number of caps, players in prime age range, number of players at the same club and number of total clubs drawn from. They also factor in head coach experience, recent form and historical World Cup win percentage.

They further include ‘squad value’ in the calculation, which is based on an internally devised assessment of salary for each of the players in the squads. For players representing countries who may not be on full-time contracts, Esportif used a figure between US $20,000 and $30,000, unless other information was available.

And, according to the data, Esportif argue that England, who are given a score of 90 out of 100, should narrowly be given top billing ahead of the All Blacks, who were given a score of 89.

The data score has Samoa with the lowest mark of 60, with Namibia and Tonga (both 63), Russia (64), Canada and the USA (both 65) just ahead of them. South American side Uruguay, who have an incredibly challenging pool, lead the way as the ‘best of the rest’ with a mark of 66, before the ‘big three’ of tier two come in with Georgia (69) and Japan (70) both sitting outside of the tier one nations, although Fiji’s score of 73 sees them tie for tenth spot with Italy.

At ninth overall comes Argentina (74), with the Six Nations pair of France and Scotland both tied on a mark of 79. There is then a three-way tie between Australia, Wales and South Africa, all of whom score 85 on Esportif’s metric.

It leaves England, Ireland and New Zealand as the top three and it is Eddie Jones’ side who come out on top with a score of 90, narrowly edging ahead of the All Blacks (89). Ireland finish up in third with a mark of 86.

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