All Blacks Legend Sean Fitzpatrick Names Their Two Biggest Rivals For The Rugby World Cup

Japan.

Legendary All Blacks hooker Sean Fitzpatrick has named England and Ireland as New Zealand’s two biggest rivals at the Rugby World Cup in Japan later this year.

Fitzpatrick says Ireland have “New Zealand’s number” following their win at the Aviva Stadium back in November says England have “gone to another level” after an excellent start to the Six Nations that has seen them secure bonus-point wins over Ireland and France.

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But the 55-year-old still thinks the All Blacks are the “team to beat.”

“The All Blacks are the defending champions, they probably are still the team to beat and I say that every World Cup,” the former New Zealand captain told Sky Sports.

“I always thought that the major challenge would come from the northern hemisphere and I still think that after what happened in the autumn and what’s happening in the Six Nations.”

“England have really gone to another level, Ireland have real depth and to win World Cups, you need depth, and Ireland’s got that without question and so have England.”

“I just think that England and especially Ireland have got our number in terms of the way we play the game,”

“They play the game similar to us.”

“You throw those two in there along with Wales, who are on the most unbelievable winning streak at the moment, and then you’ve got South Africa and you can never write Australia off. It’s going to be hugely, hugely competitive.”