“As obvious… As a just reward for French rugby and its many heroes who have succeeded one another at the gates of legend, without ever managing to close it with the famous trophy in hand. After three lost finals, every twelve years since 1987, this must stop. And the fourth, still twelve years after the last failure, will put an end to the terrible curse. No doubt when you have trump cards in your game, such as Antoine Dupont, Damian Penaud, Thomas Ramos… And a global triumph against the All Blacks in the final will only be greater and historic.”Martin Couturié

“I would like France to go all the way, but I can see South Africa doing the double. She finished her preparation with two defeats inflicted on the Welsh and especially the All Blacks. It certainly lost in 2023 against Ireland and France, but these two teams will have the added pressure of the long-awaited first coronation. With their three crowns and their experienced group, the Springboks will make the difference in hot moments. Manie Libbok will assert himself as the boss at fly-half and carry his team like Butch James in 2007 and Handré Pollard in 2019. And why not a surprise run for Argentina to the final? An affordable group with pale England as the main competitor, a negotiable quarter-final against Fiji or the Welsh, and a small feat in the semi-final against Ireland.”Adrien Bez

“So of course, the Irish have never made it past the quarter-final stage so far. But things will change this year. Ireland, which has just achieved the Grand Slam during the last Six Nations Tournament, arrives in France with the status of number 1 nation in the world rankings. And a lot of arguments to be had: a brazen pack and sharp rear ends. The English coach Andy Farell (Owen’s father) took this team to a new level, he uninhibited it. Above all, he was able to rely on the pool of Leinster players (12 of the 15 starters during the last Tournament). The province of Dublin is, let us remember, the bane of… Stade Toulousain, beaten three times in a row in the semi-finals of the Champions Cup. The XV of Clover, which now looks the big nations in the eye, is sure of its strength and its game. To finally win a first global coronation.”Arnaud Coudry

“I vote the Boks world champions. Even if, in my wildest dreams, I imagine the Blues climbing to the roof of global rugby, the fact that the French are arriving with the enormous sign of favorites inspires all the fears in me. Comfort and praise have never been our best traveling companions… Facing Galthié’s men in the final, I place the South African title holders who, behind the icon Siya Kolisi, have all the weapons to win a 4th historic crown. Total ferocity, a brutal pack of forwards and three quarters never short of ideas. Ask the Blacks, badly swept away just before the World Cup, what they think… The infernal machine of the Springboks has everything to make history a little further.”Baptiste Desprez

“The North in force. For the first time in history, two countries from the Old Continent will meet in the final of the competition. At home, the Blues will assume their status as favorites and finally overcome this curse. After three defeats in the final, the fourth will be the good one for Fabien Galthié’s players. To lift the Webb Ellis trophy, the French XV will have to beat Ireland in the final. The XV du Trèfle will dismiss its opponents one by one before falling in the last match against the overexcited locals pushed by 80,000 people. »Tom Gagniare

“New Zealand. It is not necessarily a choice of passion, but a choice of reason. The Blacks are not playing their best rugby, but remain in a good Rugby Championship. Above all, they have the most favorable schedule. A victory against France ensures them a quiet group stage. In the quarter-final, they face the Irish exhausted by their meeting against the South Africans and the Scots. In the semi-finals, they made short work of the Australians. In the final, they beat the French who were too physically scarred by their quarter-final against the Boks.”Vincent Bordenave

“This is the year. A mastered game, talented players, uncompromising preparation, an expert coach. With an ideal route. Scotland, which surprised Ireland (eliminated in the first phase with a second defeat against South Africa, the hiccup of the competition…), in the quarter-finals, then Argentina in the semi- final. For a monstrous last act, a constant fight against the Springboks who will end up letting go on a last try from Damian Penaud, the competition’s top scorer.” David Reyrat

Three votes for France, two for South Africa, one for Ireland and New Zealand.

The French XV is cited six times for a place in the final, absent only once, for a South Africa-Argentina poster.