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Japanese Fans Welcome Team Home

The world has arrived at the next phase of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the quarterfinal rounds to be played this weekend among eight teams. The match lineups follow:

Saturday, October 17 - South Africa vs. Wales at Twickenham

Saturday, October 17 – New Zealand vs. France at Millennium Stadium

Sunday, October 18 – Australia vs. Scotland at Twickenham

Sunday, October 18 – Ireland vs. Argentina at Millennium Stadium

(These games will not be televised free to USA audiences but can be purchased as Pay Per View via local cable companies.)

This final group of eight has always been the predicted eight of nine probables for the quarterfinals with ousted England the other, or ninth choice.

Record Numbers

  • 87,267 – The largest crowd to see a RWC match, the venue held at Wembley Stadium;
  • 2,410,000 – The most RWC tickets sold for all venues, a 97% sales rate:
  • 1,800,000 – The largest number of pool play tickets ever sold; and,
  • 349-1 – Record setting losing odds on Japan beating South Africa, the biggest upset of the RWC, and also for every rugby media writer, the biggest upset in history of the sport.

Questions Answered After the Quarterfinals

South Africa – After a terrible year with losses to Argentina and Japan, can the Boks contend for the RWC title?

Wales – Team plagued with recent injuries but can it beat a resurgent South African side?

New Zealand – Have weaker opponents in Pool C dulled somewhat the All Blacks’ play?

France - Historically, the All Blacks’ RWC arch foe. Can they perform another upset in Cardiff?

Australia – All concur the Wallabies had an impressive Pool A win. Can they make it to the finals?

Scotland - Two events aided their advancement, short turnaround time for Japan and Samoa running out of gas. Are they better than the defeated pool opponents?

Ireland – Will last pool game injuries hamper Ireland from advancing into their first ever RWC semi-final round?

Argentina – Los Pumas scored more RWC points (179) than any other side. They lost to Ireland in June 2014, 23-17. Can they replicate their 2007 RWC semi-final result?

All answers by Sunday.