World Cup Betting Tips
The 2019 Rugby World Cup hosted by Japan kicks off on the 20th of September, with 20 nations fighting for glory to lift the famous Web Ellis trophy.
Rugby World Cup 2019 - Presentation and Predictions
The ninth edition of the Rugby World Cup will commence on September 20th 2019, and promises a thrilling competition between the top rugby-playing nations from around the globe. Hosted by Japan, the first time that the competition will be held in Asia, 20 teams will compete across both group and knockout stages until the victors are crowned in the grand final on November 2nd. Can reigning champions New Zealand secure their third-successive Rugby World Cup title in 2019, or will one of Europe’s rugby heavyweights claim the title for only the second time?
How does the Rugby World Cup function?
Over the course of almost two months, from September 20th until November 2nd, 20 nations will compete across 12 cities in Japan - first in the group stage, then in the final knockout phase. For the first stage of the tournament, the 20 participating nations have been divided into 4 groups of 5 teams. Ten games will be played in single-round robin format by each group - as each team will play every other member of their group only once. At the end of this group stage, the two teams ranked at the top of each group will qualify for the knockout phase, while the teams that qualify in third place will qualify for the next edition of the Rugby World Cup - which will be held in France in 2023.
The teams that qualify from the group stages will progress into the knockout phase of the tournament. The quarter-finals will be held on October 19th and 20th, followed by the semi- finals on October 26th and 27th, the Bronze final on Novermber 1st, and finally the grand final at Yokohama International Stadium on November 2nd.
- 20 participating nations
- 4 groups of 5 teams
- Top 2 teams from each group qualify (8 teams)
- 8 qualifying teams compete from the quarter finals, to the semi finals, until the Final
Japan Rugby World Cup Groups
Now that we have an understanding of the format of the tournament, we can begin to consider the four groups of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Each group promises exciting clashes and tense meetings, with some standout favourites already being tipped to progress by the bookmakers. Let’s take a look at the prospects of each group.
Group A - Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia, Samoa
Despite a disappointing 2019 Six Nations campaign, Ireland are still the standout favourites to top Group A. Having been plagued by injuries at the beginning of the year, with Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray in particular struggling before the Six Nations tournament, the men in green looked only a shade of the side that completed the Grand Slam in 2018. Still, Joe Schmitt’s men have proved that they can compete at an international level, having beaten the All Blacks in Dublin in August 2018. The second qualifying place will likely go to either Scotland or possibly the hosts Japan - who caused a shock in the 2015 edition of the tournament by beating South Africa 34-32 in the opening weekend of the competition in England. Both Russia and Samoa are still relatively young teams, and as such will be unlikely to pose a serious threat for a qualifying position in Group A.
Who will win Group A?
Group B - New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Canada
The All Blacks continue to dominate the world of rugby union, and will be odds-on favourites to claim their third World title in Japan this Autumn. In addition to being the only international side to have beaten every one of their opponents at least once, New Zealand have been ranked at the top of the World Rugby Rankings longer than any other nation since its introduction in 2003 - so it’s safe to say that Steve Hansen’s men are favourites not only to top group B, but also to win the tournament outright. South Africa are perhaps the team most likely to challenge the All Blacks winning streak. Third-place finishers in the 2015 tournament, the Springboks have won the Rugby World Cup twice before - in 1995 and 2007 - and will be expected to go far in the tournament. As for the rest of Group B, Italy have underperformed on the international rugby stage in recent years - Conor O’Shea’s side received their fifth consecutive Wooden Spoon in the 2019 Six Nations - while both Canada and Namibia have struggled in their most recent World Cup appearances.
Who will win Group B?
Group C - England, France, Argentina, USA, Tonga
Group C promises some exciting fixtures - with England, France and Argentina all possessing the qualities necessary to qualify for the knockout stages. The only European side to have ever won the Rugby World Cup (2003), England have drastically improved as a side since their dismal performance in the 2015 edition of the tournament - where they failed to make it out of their group. Runners-up in the 2019 Six Nations, the English have improved in all areas of the pitch, and will be the favourites to top Group C. Competition is expected to be fierce between France and Argentina for the second qualifying spot, with Argentina having finished in fourth place in the last World Cup. Both Tonga and the USA have never progressed from the Pool Stage of the Rugby World Cup, and will not be expected to do so this year either.
Who will win Group C?
Group D - Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Uruguay
Our experts expect some thrilling encounters between the members of Group D - particularly the meeting between 2015 runners-up Australia and 2019 Six Nations champions Wales. The Aussies have won the tournament twice previously (1995, 2007) and will no doubt progress to the knockout stages of this year's tournament. Warren Gatland’s men completed a Six Nations Grand Slam at the beginning of the 2019 season, and will be expected to carry their clinical precision into this year’s edition of the World Cup. While both sides will be favoured to qualify from this group, they will not be without competition. Fiji often perform well on the World Stage, while Georgia are one of the up-and-coming nations in the world of rugby union. Uruguay, on the other hand, have never made it past the group stages of the tournament.
Who will win Group D?
Who are the favourites of the 2019 Rugby World Cup?
The All Blacks are the most decorated nation in the world of rugby, and have won the Rugby World Cup more times than any other participating member - three times in total, in 1987, 2011 and 2015. They will largely be expected to claim their third successive world title in this year’s tournament, however there are a number of other nations who will try to cause an upset in Japan. As we have seen in the Six Nations over the last few years, England, Ireland and Wales have all vastly improved as rugby-playing nations, and will be expected to go far in the 2019 World Cup. South Africa and Australia will also look to challenge for the title, with both nations having appeared in the final stages of the tournament in the last six editions. The stage is set for what looks to be a thrilling tournament - all that is left for you to do is finalise your predictions before October!