We're almost at the halfway point of pool play at the Rugby World Cup with 16 of the 20 teams having played two games.

Six teams remain unbeaten, including Italy and Japan, but of course there is plenty of rugby left to play before we get to the knockout phase.

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Here's an early look at how the quarter-final match-ups could look.


Quarter-final 1 (Winner of Pool C v Runner up of Pool D)
Looking like: England v Australia
How it could change: The Australia part of the equation is pretty much locked in after the defeat to Wales. Australia aren't going to lose to Uruguay or Georgia and it's unlikely Fiji will upset Wales. So lock it Wales-Australia advancing in Pool D. In Pool C it's still a three-team race with England yet to play Argentina and France – not an ideal draw with two top 10 sides back-to-back before the knockoff stage even begins, while Australia would have the luxury of resting a few players in their final game. Ultimately it looks like it's going to come down to the England v France result on Saturday 12, 9.15pm. The winner will set up a clash with Michael Cheika's men.
We predict: England v Australia

Quarter-final 2 (Winner of Pool B v Runner up of Pool A)
Looking like: New Zealand v Ireland
How it could change: Very easily. This is assuming Japan keep their dream run going and take out both Samoa (this Saturday) and Scotland (the final game in pool play). Ireland will bounce back against Russia and should beat Samoa based on what we saw from them against Scotland. It's all up in the air and probably will continue to be until the final minute of pool play action. With Ireland expected to win out from here, the key game is Japan v Scotland on Saturday 13, 11.45pm. It's the final game of pool play and Ireland will be watching very keenly.
We predict: New Zealand v Japan

Quarter-final 3 (Winner of Pool D v Runner up of Pool C)
Looking like: Wales v France
How it could change: France and England clash on October 12 which, if Argentina don't upset England, will decide which team goes top in Pool C. England have beaten France three of the four times they've met since the last World Cup but on neutral territory who knows. Wales will probably want France having beaten them in seven of their last eight games.
We predict: Wales v France

Quarter-final 4 (Winner of Pool A v Runner up of Pool B)
Looking like: Japan v South Africa
How it could change: A rematch after the 2015 upset in Brighton would be a dream fixture for the tournament but it could easily be Ireland. Ireland should get bonus point wins in their final two games against Russia and Samoa which will leave them on 16 points (Scotland can only reach 15 so wouldn't be in the running for top spot). Heading into the final game between Japan and Scotland it's a likely scenario that Ireland will be sitting top and Japan needing a win to move past them, while a Scotland win would deny Japan a spot in the quarters. But lock-in South Africa for the Pool B spot, unless a typhoon plays havoc with an All Blacks' fixture.
We predict: Ireland v South Africa

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