An All Blacks victory?

Adam McDonnellAssociate Director of Political and Social Research
October 07, 2011, 5:49 PM UTC

The majority of British rugby fans surveyed in our poll think New Zealand will win the Rugby World Cup, our poll has found, with England the second favourite. Our survey asked just over 700 British rugby fans who they thought would win each of the knock-out stage matches leading up to and including the final.

  • 56% of the rugby fans asked tip New Zealand to win this year’s World Cup
  • Compared to 20% who predict that England will be victorious
  • South Africa are third favourite with 9%

Respondents also tip England as clear favourites to beat France in their quarter final match, with 78% favouring their home nation. The match between Ireland and Wales is seen as a much closer encounter, with 57% predicting an Irish win and 43% opting for the Welsh. 59% of the British fans asked predict that England will then go on to win their semi-final match against either Wales or Ireland, and consequently reach the final.

On the other side of the draw, the New Zealand team is fans’ clear favourite in its quarter-final match against Argentina. A staggering 97% of the British rugby fans asked predict an All Blacks win against the Pumas. 62% think that South Africa will beat Australia, while only 38% predict a Wallabies win. New Zealand are also favourites to win in the semi-finals, with fans predicting a New Zealand vs. England final.

England has reached the final of the Rugby World Cup on the last two occasions, winning the tournament in 2003. Despite the British rugby fans we surveyed predicting that the nation will reach the final for the third time in a row, they are less hopeful of the team getting their second World Cup Win, with only a fifth predicting that England will lift the trophy. Fans have even less faith in the other remaining home nations winning the cup, with only 5% predicting a Welsh win and 4% tipping Ireland.

Can New Zealand Win?

New Zealand were clear favourites at the start of this tournament, and after a successful group stage, continue to be the bookies’ choice. However, despite being seen as the favourites at the start of most Rugby World Cups previous, the All Blacks have only won the tournament once, in 1987. Since then, they have had to watch on as South Africa and Australia have lifted the trophy twice, and England once.

But with even British fans’ hopes high for the Kiwi players, only time will tell whether this is the year the All Blacks finally come through.

Survey details and full results coming soon