The Rugby World Cup 2019 is almost here and I for one cannot wait for the opportunity it’ll give us to explore the depth and diversity of Japanese culture. – yep, sushi, karaoke, and underwear vending machines, we’re going to tick all the boxes.
And there’s some rugby football to played too.
Ireland go into the tournament ranked as the number one side in the world, though I wouldn’t take the vagaries of the IRB’s calculations as a sign of who’s likely to be showered in confetti and champagne on November 2nd.
Rather, New Zealand are the team to beat according to the betting markets. They haven’t been quite the dominant force we’ve come to know and, well, acquiesce to recently, relinquishing their Rugby Championship crown in 2019 thanks to draw with South Africa and a trouncing by Australia.
Beauden Barrett’s boot will be the decisive factor as to whether they win a third straight Webb Ellis Trophy or not.
If he gets the yipps there’s a slew of contenders behind the All Blacks, but one stands out for me.
South Africa will win the World Cup this year for various reasons. Their strength in depth is underrated and they have a player capable of stepping up in every position bar at out-half where Handre Pollard is their key man.
They have the luxury of avoiding New Zealand until the final once they get out of their group and Rassie Erasmus has been building momentum nicely since taking over. Their strength and fitness regime certainly seems to be paying dividends.
Joe Cokanasiga is a very tempting bet in this market as Eddie Jones will likely try build his confidence against the weaker teams in their pool and if he goes well he should earn a spot in their starting XV.
Cokanasiga is nearly averaging a try a game in his England career so if he continues that form he will be near the top of this market and with our massive 7 places on offer is a cracking bet.
The old adage of never discount the French rings true here and at their current price are worth a stab to reach the final.
While their senior national team has continued to struggle, there is still some reasons to be cheerful as their U20 team has won the last two World Championships and their clubs showed some really strong form in Europe last season.
Going for one of the shorter prices in this market in Handre Pollard, as we believe South Africa will go deep in this tournament and this man could carry them there. He also scored a couple of tries in the Rugby Championship so if he can continue to establish himself as a try scorer threat.