First off, I am fully aware of the irony surrounding writing a betting preview piece on Welsh Rugby at the moment. The less said about that the better of course, but Monday finally sees Wales enter the World Cup news cycle for some ‘on the field’ activity.
I am sure the players will be looking forward to getting on the pitch and playing some rugby instead of answering some questions. That being said, there is no way of knowing how the last few days have affected the camp.
The handicap in this game is Wales -28. This World Cup has taught us to respect the underdog and for that reason, the amount of time Georgia try to hold on to the ball with their pack and the distractions in the Welsh camp, I think Georgia +28 is the bet here. Indeed, Wales won the only previous encounter 13-6 at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff on 18 November 2017.
Pick: Georgia +28 @ 10/11
For the fourth World Cup in a row, a Welshman is playing at his fourth World Cup. Captain Alun Wyn Jones joins Gareth Thomas (1995 to 2007), current (new) attack coach Stephen Jones (1999 to 2011), and Gethin Jenkins (2003 to 2015). The giant second row will equal Gethin Jenkins’s record 129 caps for Wales when he takes to the field against Georgia.
Jones will also break Jenkins’s record for most Rugby World Cup starts; this will be his 14th game.
Maybe it is the nostalgia getting the better of me, but Wyn Jones has been playing some of his best rugby in recent months. His Grand Slam winning form continued in the build-up games and the Ospreys star will relish the physical battle Graham Rowntree’s coached Georgian forwards will bring.
If this tie turns into an arm wrestle, then Wyn Jones is the man who can pull the Dragons kicking and screaming into action.
As you can probably sense from the opening few paragraphs, I am not holding out much hope of Georgia winning this game. There are several factors at play of course. Despite all the media hype around shoe-horning Georgia into the Six Nations as Europe’s seventh best side, they have never beaten a tier one side.
Wales are going to win this game, so outside of the above markets, where else can we get some value. Weirdly enough, one of the best open-field runners and try threats, in my eyes, will start the game on the bench. Gela Aprasidze is the sub scrum half for the Georgians and it is worth remembering the name, that is if you don’t remember his stunning try against the Irish 20’s back in 2017.
So, seeing as Gela won’t start, the next best threat with an oval shaped ball is Liam Williams. The Saracens full-back/wing is a Rolls-Royce of a rugby player. This lad can do it all and should Wales start well, then he will be the driving force.
*Prices correct at time of publishing