Mellow Velo

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Interesting that you mention a rethink on the competitive structure.
I was discussing that topic this morning.
Aside the obvious need to address the issue of match turnover time, the one suggestion I would put forward would be to introduce a plate competition for the sides finishing 3rd and 4th in their respective groups. It could be played off using the same format as the main competition and served up as an aperitif, perhaps for the QFs by using the preceding Friday for two matches and having one game before the pair of quarter finals.

As for seeding and selecting groups, three years before the event. The loss of revenue to the IRB, through England's early exit, should ensure changes will be made for the next WC.
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