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Rugby Union

Rugby World Cup Betting Tips

Rugby World Cup Betting Tips

The tenth Rugby Union World Cup takes place in France between September 8th and October 28th, with this arguably the most open tournament to date.

South Africa head to Europe as the defending champions, having lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in Japan four years ago. The Springboks will be looking to become the most successful nation in World Cup history with a fourth title, but they will face stiff competition from a number of the top nations.

New Zealand are also going in search of a fourth World Cup, whilst the likes of Ireland, England and the hosts France will feel they can go all the way to the final.

Home Nations Match 1 Betting Tips

It is a massive weekend as all four of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland set out on their bids to win the Rugby World Cup.

The next couple of days in France are expected to be hot, but all four nations will want to hit the ground running in the quest for the Webb Ellis Trophy. Here are our tips on their four opening clashes.

Ireland v Romania (Saturday, 2.30pm kick-off)

Tip: Romania +63.5 points at 5/6

Ireland look to have the easiest task of the four in their opening match when they line up against minnows Romania, who have been given a 63.5-point headstart for their Saturday afternoon clash in Bordeaux.

Andy Farrell’s side have scored more than 60 points just twice in tournament rugby and it is quite possible that it will take them some time to find their rhythm and the required cohesion.

Romania do not have much of a recent pedigree and a 56-6 loss to Georgia and a 57-7 defeat to Italy do not bode well for their chances of remaining respectable in the tournament.

However, the conditions could prove to be Ireland’s strongest opponent with temperatures expected to top 30C, so they may ease up if it appears they are going to win comfortably, which means backing Romania to stay within the hefty handicap mark could be the way to go.

England v Argentina (Saturday, 8pm)

Tip: Argentina to win by one to 12 points at 8/5

There is little to choose between these two in the betting but England could have hardly come into the tournament in worse form - they have lost five of their last six matches - and that makes them vulnerable against the Pumas.

Argentina beat England at Twickenham last year having lost in each of their previous nine meetings and although the 30-29 scoreline suggests it was a tight struggle, few could have argued that the South Americans didn’t deserve to win.

Since the last World Cup, Argentina have beaten New Zealand twice and also seen off Australia, Wales and Scotland.

The Red Rose are without the suspended Owen Farrell and Billy Vunipola and lost their last game against Fiji, so expect Argentina to take this one by a margin of one to 12 points, which is available to back at 8/5.

South Africa v Scotland (Sunday, 4.45pm)

Tip: Scotland +10.5 on handicap at 5/6

South Africa have lost their opening game at the last two World Cups and while they come into the tournament having posted solid wins over the All Blacks and Wales, Scotland are capable of holding their own.

The Scots are a lot stronger than they were at the last World Cup four years ago and they should be able to move the Springboks forwards around to create plenty of opportunities from open spaces.

South Africa are at their best when they grind their opponents down and we could see a prime example of that on Sunday.

It looks set to be a tight affair, which means the handicap mark of 10.5 points looks generous if backing Scotland.

Wales v Fiji (Sunday, 8pm)

Tip: Fiji to win the match at 13/8

Wales have endured widespread changes of personnel since Warren Gatland returned as coach and that may mean they are not the most cohesive of units when they face Fiji.

The anticipated hot conditions in Bordeaux could play into the islanders hands and their confidence will be high after they ran hosts France close and then beat England at Twickenham in their recent warm-up matches.

They were not considered elite challengers before but they have proved they can keep going for 80 minutes, which could be bad news for Wales, who could take time to find their feet, so back Fiji to win the game at 13/8.

Tip 1: South Africa – Outright Winners @ 14/5

The top half of the draw includes many of the big hitters, including France, the All Blacks, South Africa, world number one Ireland and improving Scotland.

England - the only northern hemisphere side to win the World Cup - are in the bottom half, along with Argentina and out-of-form duo Australia and Wales.

The top half of the draw looks almost certain to produce the winner, but there are plenty of question marks hanging over all the contenders.

Injury has impacted the French squad, who will also need to cope with the hope and expectation of the home fans. Although Ireland won the Six Nations and are now number one in the world, they have never previously made it past the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

New Zealand have not been reaching their usual very high standards, suffering a record loss to South Africa, 35-7, in a World Cup warm-up clash at Twickenham.

The Springboks are also battling injuries, but even if they fail to top Pool B, as was the case when they won in 2019, the Boks are outstanding at building momentum by grinding out results.

Tip 2: Argentina to reach the final @ 7/1

Argentina made their mark on the big stage in the 2007 World Cup, when the South Americans reached the semi-finals - a feat they repeated in 2015.

The current Pumas squad have beaten England, Australia and New Zealand over the last 18 months and that alone makes them an exciting outside prospect.

Argentina have been drawn in Pool D, alongside Steve Borthwick’s England and the two teams meet in Marseille in their opening match.

Japan are also in the same group and made the last eight as hosts four years ago, but are unlikely to have a repeat impact on this tournament.

Samoa are an interesting case, with the new eligibility criteria allowing them to select players who have previously represented Australia and New Zealand, but debutants Chile will struggle.

Argentina and England should still have enough to progress, but the Pumas - 24/1 to lift the trophy in October - certainly look like the team to beat.

They always raise their game for World Cups and, having topped their pool and then beaten hosts France on their way to finishing third in 2007, expect them to kick on and go deep in the tournament.