World Rugby via Getty Images/World Rugby via Getty Images)
We all know that England are the only Northern Hemisphere team to have won the Rugby World Cup. France have come close to doing so, and were perhaps unlucky not to beat New Zealand in the final in 2011, though they were somewhat fortunate to have got so far. Otherwise the story is one of Southern Hemisphere supremacy: 1987 New Zealand, 1991 Australia, 1995 South Africa, 1999 Australia, 2007 South Africa, 2011 New Zealand, 2015 New Zealand. England and France have been beaten finalists. Ireland, Wales and Scotland have never got beyond the semi-final. Is there any good reason for thinking it will be different in Japan?