The sport of rugby finally brings the premier competition to Asia next week as Japan proudly hosts the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The home team will be kicking off proceedings on the 20th September with the opening fixture against Russia.
Unsurprisingly, the mighty All Blacks of New Zealand go into the competition as tournament favourites (11/8 Betfair, Unibet) with many of the other high profile teams facing a number of question marks over recent performances.
We’ll assess the chances of the home nations including Ireland and select some of the 2019 Rugby World Cup best bets currently out there. One thing is for sure however, England will want to make a bold show after their humiliating experience as hosts in 2015.
England’s recent form has to be regarded as impressive. An emphatic 57-15 win over Ireland was preceded by a win over Wales using a somewhat experimental side and a 37-0 demolition of Italy has put England on a commanding platform in preparation for Japan.
However, coach Eddie Jones does have injury concerns with the likes of Kyle Sinckler, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Joe Launchbury all sustaining knocks in the Italy game although Jones is confident his 31 man squad will include these key players.
The key for England is to avoid any complacency in the opening matches against Tonga and the USA in order to be in good stead for the crunch group fixtures against France and Argentina.
It is highly likely England will face the Wallabies in the Quarter Finals so it will be vital to have an encouraging group stages and preferably without further injuries.
9/2 outright winner with Unibet.
Scotland’s form has been a mixed bag. Despite a heavy defeat against the French, the Thistles have recently notched up two impressive wins against Georgia. However, their group stage looks tricky with the likes of Ireland and tournament hosts Japan presenting less than straightforward encounters.
The Japan v Scotland tie looks ripe in fact for a potential upset, more about that in our best bets section. Samoa hardly come into the category of walkovers either.
However, coach Gregor Townsend is one of the most attack-minded coaches in the tournament so you’d expect to see the forwards pushing right into the dying moments of every game.
Injury issues are a concern however with some key players in doubt after the Georgia fixtures. Quarter-Final appearance best outcome in all likelihoods.
80/1 outright winner with Coral.
Wales have the biggest injury concerns of all the home nations with key regulars Gareth Anscombe and Taulupe Faletau not making the final squad. Recent form has not been great either including a brace of defeats against Ireland and its common knowledge that their squad lacks depth despite great potential talent.
However, in Warren Gatland, the Welsh have a coach who has seen it all, albeit World Cup triumph, and will be a crucial influence in galvanising this team. I think they have arguably the easiest group to manoeuvre through, with teams they should have no difficulty in beating. However, like Scotland, the Welsh should see it to the quarter-finals at best. 11/1 outright winner with Betfair.
The Irish have seen their profile greatly enhanced since that glorious win over the All Blacks last year, with many pundits predicting that this is the year they could go all the way.
Form wise, they can’t complain after back to back wins against Wales wiped the slate clean from that heavy loss against England. Injury concerns are dominated by the loss of Dan Leavy although Keith Earls looks likely to return after sustaining a knock against Wales.
Very tricky group to get out of in Pool A and who knows where they could progress to from there. Chances. 10/1 with Coral for outright winner.
Some great 2019 Rugby World Cup betting offers out there along with some tempting prices I’ve selected on some of the key games.
Japan v Scotland
This looks like a major banana skin in the making for Scotland. Japan and their home support will be pumped for this, especially if results against Russia and Ireland don’t go according to plan. No prices available for this fixture as yet so a Japan to qualify from the group could be considered at this stage.
Japan to reach Quarter-Final: 3/1 with Unibet
New Zealand completely in charge with plenty of support for the Springboks in recent weeks. If the Wallabies can produce something out of the hat, then the 18/1 has to be considered the value bet here.
New Zealand 11/8 Betfair, Unibet
South Africa 9/2 Betfred
England 9/2 Unibet
Ireland 10/1 Coral
Wales 11/1 Betfair, Boylesports
Australia 18/1 Boylesports
France 33/1 William Hill, Betfred
Argentina 50/1 Betfair, Paddy Power, Boylesports
Scotland 80/1 Coral, Boylesports
Despite recently falling foul of the New Zealand selectors, Rieko Loane leads the market. Plenty of others to consider therefore.
Rieko Ioane (NZ) 10/1 Betfair, Paddy Power
Sevu Reece (NZ) 10/1 Unibet
Jacob Stockdale (Ire) 11/1 Betfair, Bet Victor, Paddy Power
Jonny May (Eng) 14/1 Unibet
Cheslin Kolbe (SA) 16/1 Bet Victor
George Bridge (NZ) 14/1 William Hill
Sibusiso Nkosi (SA) 18/1 Betfair, Paddy Power, Boylesports
To Reach Semi Finals
Very little value here when one considers how tight the quarter finals will undoubtedly be.
New Zealand 1/7 Unibet, Betfred
England 8/13 Unibet
South Africa 8/13 Unibet
Wales 5/6 Betfair, Paddy Power
Australia 5/4 Boylesports
Ireland 11/8 Betfair, Paddy Power, Boylesports
France 100/30 William Hill, Betfred
Scotland 5/1 Betfair, Paddy Power, Betfred
It would definitely pay to be behind one of the All Black powerhouses for top tryscorer whilst Japan look a worthy punt for quarter final qualification. New Zealand look strong for another win overall however with their Wallabies neighbours great value at 18/1
Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (15:00 14th September 2019) and are subject to change.