Green predicts World Cup surprises
Former All Black and top try scorer at the 1987 World Cup Craig Green believes that intense schedules could cause major upsets in the World Cup.
The New Zealander, now coaching in Italy, looked back to the 1998 Tri-Nations where Australia and South Africa were at their best while New Zealand were whitewashed in all four matches.
"Then the Springboks and the Wallabies went on tour to Europe and put themselves under more pressure after what had already been a heavy season. As a result the tables were turned. At the beginning of this year both South African and Australian teams were plagued with injuries and failed to perform. New Zealand, instead, have enjoyed an injury free build up to the World Cup, after a less demanding schedule at the end of 1998".
"The All Blacks are now the favourites, but a couple of injuries in key positions may easily change the odds".
Green sees New Zealand, Australia and South Africa top of the list with England and Wales hot contenders for the semi-finals.