The Rugby World Cup has got to be the most dragged-out sporting tournament around.
It’s taken 36 days to go from the opening pool match — when hosts France defeated the All Blacks — to get to the knockout stage, which kicks off today.
In contrast, the soccer World Cup a year ago took just 13 days for the same period.
Yes, each country plays an extra match at the Rugby World Cup (four instead of three), but it has 12 fewer teams competing (20 instead of 32).
I know that player welfare is important, but surely, if you’re going to create hype, buzz and momentum, having a lengthy gap (as much as two weeks) between each game isn’t conducive to this.
Come the final, it will have taken 50 days to get there. That’s one month and 20 days.
Anyway, the quarter-finals start today, and they’ll be done over a single weekend!
🏴 Wales v 🇦🇷 Argentina (16:00 BST)
🇮🇪 Ireland v 🇳🇿 New Zealand (20:00 BST)
🏴 England v 🇫🇯 Fiji (16:00 BST)
🇫🇷 France v 🇿🇦 South Africa (20:00 BST)
Who’s your money on?