This is shaping up as a cringe-inducing Rugby World Cup.

As the leading nations close in on each other, there was the awful sight of a traditional heavyweight smashing up one of the game's wannabes with the tournament just weeks away.

And we're not even talking about what happened in Hamilton yet.


South Africa played in fits and starts yet still crushed Japan 41–7 in a warm-up near Tokyo, raising the spectre of a host nation being humiliated.

While this occurred last time of course, hometown flops England – with great traditions in the game and vibrant crowds –