After a brutal, bruising, exciting and exhilarating pool stage of the 2015 Rugby World Cup, it is onto the quarterfinals, the point where the real action starts, even if that action will be without the hosts England.

Over the tow days at the weekend, four matches will be played between eight top teams of the rugby world, and while the usual suspects are expected to make it to the semifinals, there are a couple of matches in there which could go either way.

The first one of the quarterfinals for instance. Wales did brilliantly to qualify for the quarterfinals, finishing ahead of England and behind Australia in the ultra-competitive Pool A. All this, despite the ridiculous amount of injuries that Warren Gatland's men have suffered.

After failing to beat the Wallabies in their final group game, though, Wales have been drawn against South Africa in the quarterfinals, with the Springboks starting the match as the favourite.

South Africa recovered well from that shock opening loss to Japan to top their pool, and a reward for that comeback is a tricky quarterfinal against Wales. This really is a match that could go either way, but South Africa are the fancied team, and Wales will need to produce a superlative performance to stay in this Rugby World Cup.

The second quarterfinal is between New Zealand and France. The All Blacks, of course, will not want to remember that unforgettable quarterfinal in the 2007 World Cup, when France beat them 20-18. How fitting that we will have another World Cup quarterfinal, at the same venue of that staggering result – the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The All Blacks will point to the two wins over France in the 2011 World Cup en route to the title, but those ghosts of 2007 will be lurking, ready to pounce on any doubts come Saturday.

Sunday's two quarterfinal matches – Ireland vs Argentina and Australia vs Scotland -- are a little more low-key compared to the Saturday ones, but that does not mean, low on excitement.

Ireland and Australia are the clear favourites of their respective quarterfinals, but Argentina and Scotland are sides capable of causing an upset.

2016 Rugby World Cup quarterfinals schedule: Quarterfinal 1: South Africa vs Wales. Date: Saturday, 17 October. Time: 4 pm BST (8.30 pm IST, 5 pm SAST, 11 am ET). Venue: Twickenham in London.

Quarterfinal 2: New Zealand vs France. Date: Saturday, 17 October. Time: 8 pm BST (12.30 am IST, 8 am NZ time (both Sunday), 9 pm CET, 3 pm ET). Venue: Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Quarterfinal 3: Ireland vs Argentina. Date: Sunday, 18 October. Time: 1 pm BST (5.30 pm IST, 8 am ET, 9 am Argentina time). Venue: Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Quarterfinal 4: Australia vs Scotland. Date: Sunday, 18 October. Time: 4 pm BST (8.30 pm IST, 2 am AEDT, 11 am ET). Venue: Twickenham in London.

TV listings: India: Sony Six. UK and Ireland: ITV. USA: Universal Sports. Canada: TSN. New Zealand: Sky Sport. Australia: Fox Sports. South Africa: SuperSport.