2019 Rugby World Cup Favourites & Tips
The 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan is fast approaching. Taking place from 20th September to 2nd November, this will be the first time the tournament has been held in Asia. New Zealand will be gunning for a historic third consecutive World Cup after wins in 2011, on home soil, and 2015, in England.
But other than the holders, who are the serious contenders for the Web Ellis trophy, and which teams could spring a surprise? In this article, we look at the favourites for the 2019 World Cup and run through some of the standout games from the opening round of fixtures. Enjoy!
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South Africa - 4/1 To Win The Rugby World Cup
There can be no more convincing statement of intent from a Southern Hemisphere side ahead of the World Cup: winning the Rugby Championship, which also features New Zealand and Australia, means the Springboks are coming into the tournament in seriously good form. They look to have some vital ingredients in the form of solid kicker Handre Pollard at fly-half and the fast and fancy footwork of Cheslin Kolbe on the wing. South Africa have been drawn in the same pool as New Zealand but will be confident of grabbing at least second place, which could put them on a collision course with Ireland in the quarter-finals.
New Zealand - 5/4 Favourites To Win The Rugby World Cup
Don't let one defeat to Australia in the Rugby Championship fool you - the All Blacks are still very much the team to beat at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. What we can say is that this New Zealand team are no longer 'invincible', after being deposed at the top of the world rankings by Ireland, who beat them in Dublin during the Autumn Internationals. New Zealand set the record straight after their loss to the Wallabies with a resounding 36-0 win, and with the likes of Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo'unga dictating play, are hard to bet against but in 2019 there looks to be no shortage of serious contenders for their crown.
England - 4/1 To Win The Rugby World Cup
They might not have won any major international silverware since 2017, but Eddie Jones's England side simply cannot be discounted. With George Ford seemingly having galvanised a backline which features Manu Tuilagi and Owen Farrell, England go into the tournament having thrashed a disappointing Ireland at Twickenham in August. The pack also looks like a force to be reckoned with, including powerhouses such as Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola, and England certainly have enough strength in depth for a run to the latter stages of the competition.
Wales - 10/1 to Win The Rugby World Cup
Having recently added a win over England to their Grand Slam triumph in the winter, Wales look to be an intriguing proposition. This is surely their best chance yet of winning a World Cup, although it must be noted that they were hit with two big injury blows ahead of the tournament - number eight Taulupe Faletau and fly-half Gareth Anscombe won't be making the trip to the Far East. Dan Biggar will likely fill in for Anscombe, but it remains to be seen whether he can steward Wales all the way to the final. Early projections have the Welsh possibly meeting South African in the semi-finals, which looks like a tough ask for Warren Gatland's side.
Ireland - 9/1 To Win The Rugby World Cup
Since performing the ultimate upstaging of beating the All Blacks and taking their number one spot in the world rankings, Ireland have flattered to deceive. A disappointing Six Nations campaign was followed by an embarrassing defeat to England meaning that Ireland are desperately looking for form. Should they rediscover the magic that led to the 2018 Grand Slam and number one ranking, the sky's the limit. Ireland will rely heavily on the half-back pairing of Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray to pull the strings, augmented by the aggression of their pack.
Early blockbusters At The 2019 Rugby World Cup?
Looking at the opening matches, the undeniable standout is the mammoth New Zealand v South Africa clash which will kick off Pool B. While the contest does not look likely to affect the respective teams' progression to the Quarter Finals, it will offer a fascinating litmus test as to the title-winning credentials of these two heavyweights. If the 16-16 draw in the Rugby Championship is anything to go by, this will be a tight affair.
Similarly intriguing is the Ireland vs Scotland match in Pool A, which will take place a day later at the same stadium in Yokohama. Scotland will fancy their chances of grabbing at least second spot in the pool and could sniff an upset against an out-of-sorts Ireland. Other tantalising opening games include France v Argentina at Chofu in Pool C and Australia vs Fiji in Pool D at Sapporo.
That's our wrap on this run through the top teams at the 2019 Rugby World Cup. So who are you backing to walk away as world champions? You can find all the latest rugby betting odds right here at Bet UK.
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*All odds from Bet UK’s online betting markets correct at the time of writing.
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