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Virtual Rugby World Cup: Warm-Up Matches and Further Information

It's great to have had plenty of you signing up to get involved in our VRWC predictor since we launched it on Friday! We're excited for the tournament which will hopefully serve as a bit of fun and some light entertainment for you all over the next 3 weeks or so.

Many of you also posted some good questions beneath that article - some of which I have answered but will be doing so again here for everyone to see. Virtual tournaments are obviously always going to be a bit of a stab in the dark but here's some further information about how Rugby Challenge 3 works as a game including a few points to clarify some things you will no doubt notice when watching matches.

Where to watch

The first Virtual Rugby action that will be available to view will 'Premiere' on Tuesday 12 May at 11am CAT on our Facebook page.

UPDATE (May 14th): Having initially planned to show the majority of the VRWC footage on our Facebook page, we have now decided that while lots of footage will still be visible on Facebook, our YouTube channel will be showing the live matches just like the Virtual Premier League. This is due to the 'Premiere' format running slightly more smoothly on YouTube and the fact that videos will display more effectively on the VRWC picks pages here on Superbru. We also understand that while videos are available for all to view on Facebook (regardless of whether or not you have an account), commenting on the videos is only possible with an account and people will perhaps feel more comfortable engaging on YouTube.

So far, I believe the best experience of virtual sport has been the 'live chat' premieres enable. Though each match will be available to view at any time once it has played for the first time, if you're free at KO for some of the matches in the VRWC, I really recommend watching the match as live at that time and getting involved in the comments section.

It's great fun to chat to fellow brus and discuss the good, bad and sometimes outright bizarre things that happen during these match simulations. The VPL live games have also become a place where we've answered lots of questions from some of you about the tournaments we're running - the General even broke the news of virtual rugby taking place about a week before we launched the VRWC!



In addition to the warm-up footage that will be made available, we have 'quick-simmed' some other matches on the game to give you an idea of some margins. Other 'Autumn Internationals' results we have seen are:

Wales 19-22 France | England 23-13 Scotland | New Zealand 33-5 Italy

Squads and squad management

As stated in my original article, the CPU will be controlling all areas of squad management during the VRWC. Team lineups, substitutions and choice of kicker etc. will all be automated by the CPU.

Since preparing footage for the tournament, it has become apparent that we may well see some slight 'differences' to normal rugby as a result. Though such features almost certainly will not affect the result of matches or your picks, they will be noticeable especially if you watch the gameplay we provide.

The clearest example we've discovered so far is that the order of players listed as replacements for some teams is unorthodox. RC3 appears to programme players and subs by position correctly but that doesn't always match up with numbers when it comes to subs. For example, you may well see a back row player on the bench as Number 16 while a Hooker is Number 19, but this won't stop them from replacing the correctly positioned player in-game (it just looks a bit unusual!).

Other differences to note

Just as with the above point, it's important to remember that RC3, like all video games, is primarily built to be a game that a human is playing. Many other rugby games, including more recent games, don't even provide the ability to play a CPU v CPU match. As a result, when watching the matches you'll notice lines appearing at the breakdown and around scrums which don't mean anything for us but are usually helpful to people controlling the players themselves! Similarly, the movement of scrums is quite exaggerated at times to show which team has come out on top.

Since RC3 came out in 2016, there have also been some law changes since the release which naturally aren't included on the game. The most noticeable is that when a team opts to kick for touch from a penalty after the hooter at 80 mins, full-time is called rather than allowing the line-out to take place as we've become used to in more modern rugby. Needless to say, this isn't something we can change (like the rest of these things!).

Squad ratings

To provide further detail on the squad/player ratings - each team's overall rating is based upon their player ratings and how they average out across six categories. These categories are: Attack, Defence, Rucking, Mauling, Scrummaging and Lineouts. The overall rating combines these to give an overall picture but then we should see certain teams perform strongly in some areas and worse in others (e.g. Fiji are likely to be good in attack but not so good in other areas).

We noticed when downloading the 2019 squads that the ratings roughly reflect the current World Rugby rankings in terms of the order of teams from highest rating to lowest. This means you can make picks for each fixture based on what you would pick for a real meeting between the two nations with a fair expectation that the match will play out similarly. Of course, anything can happen, as we've seen in the VPL with numerous upsets, and we'll all be learning as we go once the tournament starts.

I hope at least some of this was of use! Please feel free to fire in any more questions. My main advice is to watch the warm-up game as that should answer far more questions than I can! We hope you enjoy it and best of luck with your opening picks!
22,768 caps
We can but wait and see what happens and the first half a dozen games or so might be a "rude awakening" for many of us. Bring it on.
12 May 12:44
17,427 caps
As never played rugby on console unlike fifa, are the scores it comes out with realistic or a bit highscoring
12 May 15:15
ADMIN
18,750 caps
Hey Chris, we're hoping things we'll be fairly realistic but in the very one-sided looking games I'd say the margin is much more likely to be lower than in the real world than it is higher. Given each match length will be about 20 minutes, even though the game speed is a little unrealistically fast at times, there almost certainly won't be time for a team to win by 70 odd points. 13 May 13:38
43,578 caps
So does it mean Ireland will lose again vs Japan, if you consider squad ratings ?
12 May 18:07
ADMIN
18,750 caps
Hey Quintin, nothing is certain! The ratings roughly mirror the current rankings as I say meaning Ireland are higher-rated than Japan but the results aren't simply determined by who has the higher rating (which is why we aren't providing numbers). If they were, there wouldn't be much point in doing this since we'd all know for sure who will win every match. 13 May 13:41
43,578 caps
I hope this virtual game is clean . Not like real world cup where World Rugby manipulate results and scores by controlling there refs.
12 May 19:39
1,106 cap
Will you be putting replays of matches on your YouTube channel? My 83 year old Dad is a SuperBru player and is familiar with YouTube but not on Facebook.
14 May 00:14
ADMIN
18,750 caps
Hi Michael, thanks for the feedback. I've just updated the article to indicate that we've changed our minds and will now be showing the VRWC footage on YouTube for a couple of reasons (given above). Glad the change will also be favourable for your Dad! 14 May 11:00
905 caps
I do concur with 'The Neck' request. Please make the matches available on YouTube as you do with the virtual soccer. Seeing that I do not have Facebook. Please this would be very helpful Jack. Thank you for your hard work with this.
14 May 05:15
10,420 caps
I am not on Facebook, yet when I clicked on the "Facebook Page" link above, I was still able to watch. 14 May 08:55
ADMIN
18,750 caps
Hey guys, I've just updated the article to indicate that we've changed our minds and will now be showing the VRWC footage on YouTube for a couple of reasons (given above). Angus is right that all of the content we do put on Facebook should still be visible to those who don't have account though if you just search for our page on Google. 14 May 11:02
3,121 caps
I see the first 4 Virtual Rugby World Cup games on Friday 15th May all start a 12:00. Which game will then be shown "live" ?
14 May 14:14
756 caps
Which squads did you download? (Who was the creators) would like to download them on my RC3 as well
18 May 18:26