Rugby 08

Rugby '08

Rugby '08

Scrumptious.

Four years, countless embarrassing defeats and an almost bionically rebuilt Johnny Wilkinson later, and England stand nervously on the brink of what could be history's most unsuccessful attempt ever at retaining a Rugby World Cup title. Such has been the lack of the enthusiasm and general sporting press buzz over England's chances in the run up to the France-based tournament that you could be forgiven for thinking it was six years, let alone six weeks, until the competition started.

It might go some way to explaining the somewhat quiet launch to EA's latest Rugby game then, being as Rugby 08 is the official game of the 2007 Rugby World Cup and all. Of course, you might also put that down to Rugby's lack of popularity compared to football, but then we'd have to obviously have to ignore you for being so completely wrong about what is definitely the UK's most entertaining ball sport.

It's a shame, because Rugby 08 is a very good sports game indeed. Like previous games in EA's Rugby stable (the last being Rugby 06) Rugby 08 genuinely understands the sport it's based on. This is a game about possession, territory and momentum, rather than any kind of ridiculous, American Football-style field-length punts and runs. Understand Rugby, and you'll understand Rugby 08. Throw in EA's trademark polish and high-production values, together with the series' amazingly well conceived pick up and play controls, and you have a game no self-respecting rugby fan will want to be without.

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