Italy v Ireland - RBS Six Nations

After four years, the Rugby World Cup is about to happen again. This is the second time for England to be a host since 1991 when it co-hosted it along with the Irish, Scottish, Welsh and French. Back then the Webb Ellis trophy was won by Australia by beating England 12-6.

The tournament promises to draw the attention of a great deal of punters around the world. Even though the first match is scheduled in less than two months, punters worldwide are already showing great interesting in placing their bets on the pool winners and ultimately the tournament winner.

According to the bookies the All Blacks have the highest prospects of winning the tournament (11/8), with the English behind them (9/2), South Africa (5) and Ireland (9). Behind all of them is Australia. The bookies give the Wallabies odds that range from 8 to 10 at the moment.

Although New Zealand is the favourite this year, they have never won a World Cup away from home. The English on the other hand will be under a great deal of pressure, which is why South Africa, Ireland and the Aussies of course are also in the spotlight as the top contenders.

The last time when the Aussies won the tournament was 1999, and since then they have finished second in 2003 and third in 2011. The Wallabies will be playing without two high profile players, Wycliff Palu and Christian Leali’ifano, but they seem to have succeeded in getting Taqele Naiyaravoro to the detriment of Fiji. This 6ft 5in, 18 st 13 lb monster will be one of the biggest threats out there on the fields and a real attraction for enthusiast punters to see here, most are here for the real money gambling on these star players.

The best odds for winning Pool A are given to England (5/4). The most important game in this pool will most probably be the one played by Australia and Wales that will determine which team will be going into the knock-out stage, if England happens to win the pool. The Aussies are given 1/2 to qualify, while the Welsh are given 5/6.

The winner of Pool B will undoubtedly be South Africa (1/11). It’s just a matter of question if Scotland (5/6) or Samoa (10/11) will be qualifying further. In Pool C on the other hand New Zealand will most probably be accompanied by Argentina in the knock-out stage. It is very unlikely for Tonga (5), Georgia or Namibia to qualify here.

The French (8/5) and the Irish (8/13) are the favourites to win Pool D, but considering the French haven’t had a good performance and results in the last two years, Ireland seems to be the firm favourite here. Ever since Joe Schmidt took over the team, they have shown great improvement and have very reasonable odds to win the tournament.