Southern hemisphere sides picked to win
By Mick Donohoe
PARIS, 5 October - A southern hemisphere side will win the world cup, according to a group of coaches whose sides were eliminated in pool play.
An improved Georgia faced Argentina and France in Pool D, but head coach Malkhaz Cheishvili believes the winner will come from either New Zealand or South Africa.
New Zealand-born Samoa coach Michael Jones is more committal.
"I think the All Blacks will do it. They've got the personnel and the maturity now, and they've got a great structure around them, from Graham (Henry, coach) down."
Jones' former RWC-winning team-mate John Kirwan, now at the helm of Japan, agrees, suggesting New Zealand's strength across their 30-man squad will see them triumph.
"This current All Black side has really worked on their invisibles. I call them invisibles, you know things like game management. Coping with the pressure and turning it into a victory rather than a narrow loss," Kirwan said.
"Across the field, rather than being the most talented side, which is what we (New Zealand) have been in the past, I think that they have concentrated on character. So this current team has a lot of character."
Romania's coach Daniel Santamans is not ruling out the host nation.
"One of the southern hemisphere sides will win because of the level of competition in the Tri-Nations, or France because of their home support," Santamans said.
Canada met quarter-finalists Australia and Fiji in Pool B but coach Ric Suggitt is plugging for a Pumas win.
"Argentina will win because of their fiery spirit. They will have enough drive," Suggitt said.
The experience of two-time winners Australia holds weight for Tonga coach Quddus Fielea.
"They have an ability to play in big games, they understand how to play them."