2019 Rugby World Cup: When, how to watch, odds & predictions

Oddschecker
Sat, 13 Jul, 12:00 AM

The biggest tournament in Rugby has arrived and Oddschecker has all the info you need to be primed for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

What is the Rugby World Cup?

The crown jewel of international rugby. 20 nations will compete across five groups in the ninth Rugby World Cup (RWC), with the juggernaut New Zealand aiming to become the first country to win three straight RWCs.

When and where is the 2019 Rugby World Cup?

The tournament begins Friday, September 20th at 8:45 pm (AEST) with host Japan meeting Russia. There will be 48 matches, with 40 in the groups stage before the knockouts start with quarterfinals, leading to the final on Saturday, November 2nd at 8 pm (AEDT – note daylight savings will start mid-Cup). Japan makes history as the first Asian RWC host nation.

How can I watch the Cup?

Foxtel and Kayo will cover every match live. Ten will broadcast Australia’s matches, two quarter-finals, semi-finals, third-place playoff and final live.

Who has qualified and what are the groups?

Twenty nations will participate in 2019 RWC. There are four groups of five with the top two each progressing to the quarter-finals.

Here are the groups, along with their odds to win the tournament:

GROUP A

Ireland ($7.50* – Sportsbet)

Scotland ($51* - TAB)

Japan ($301* - Sportsbet)

Samoa ($751* - Bet365)

Russia ($5001* - Sportsbet)

GROUP B

New Zealand ($2.25* – TAB)

South Africa ($10* – TAB)

Italy ($1501* - TAB)

Canada ($5001* - Sportsbet)

Namibia ($7501* - Bet365)

GROUP C

England ($8* – TAB)

France ($41* – BetEasy)

Argentina ($41* – Sportsbet)

Tonga ($1501* - TAB)

USA ($3501* - Bet365)

GROUP D

Wales ($8* – Bet365)

Australia ($17* – BetEasy)

Fiji ($501* - Bet365)

Georgia ($1501* - TAB)

Uruguay ($5001* - Sportsbet)

Can the All Blacks go back-to-back-to-back?

They absolutely can. The only side to ever successfully defend their RWC crown, the All Blacks remain the ones to beat and boast such depth their second string side would be in the argument as RWC contenders. New Zealand are loaded with experience, their coach Steve Hansen is one of the all-time greats and has a winning percentage of nearly 90% since taking over in 2012 and it’ll take a perfect storm of an opposition having an extraordinary performance combined with the All Blacks lowering from their world-leading standards to stop them from three straight titles.

So who can stop the All Blacks?

The obvious threat is Ireland, but despite the Irish’s massive improvement in recent years their Cup claims come with two caveats. First they’ll need to overcome a horrible RWC history – their best finish is only the quarter-final phase where they have a 0-6 record. This becomes even more daunting as the second caveat is if the Irish finish second in their group, they’ll likely meet the All Blacks in the quarter finals. If Ireland top their group then they’ll benefit from a slightly better draw – likely South Africa - and have the confidence of defeating New Zealand in November 2018. Another threat are Wales, who recently won the Grand Slam and will back themselves against any Northern Hemisphere opposition. Their challenge is against Southern Hemisphere opponents – under veteran coach Warren Gatland, their record against New Zealand, South Africa and Australia is terrible. They have however beaten the latter two in November 2018.

What about Australia’s hopes?

Australia made a stunning run to the 2015 RWC final (even if their controversial 35-34 win over Scotland in the Quarter Final remains disputed with the Scots) where they went down in a competitive effort to the unbeatable All Blacks but it’s hard to see them replicating this in 2019. Israel Folau’s absence deprives Australia of a key attacking weapon and likely means Kurtley Beale will reprise a fullback role he excelled in 2011 – can he fill the joint-third highest try scorer in Wallaby history Folau’s shoes? Australia experienced a dismal 2018, their worst calendar year to date and aside from the Brumbies, the domestic sides endured a horrible Super Rugby season. There still remains quality to threaten a knockouts run but there are stronger sides with better credentials than the Wallabies.

What are the must-watch group stage matches?

New Zealand v South Africa – Saturday, September 21st 7:45 pm

Ireland v Scotland – Sunday, September 22nd 5:45 pm

Australia v Wales – Sunday, September 29th 5:45 pm

Wales v Fiji – Wednesday, October 9th 8:45 pm

England v France – Saturday, October 12th 7:15 pm

What’s our pre-tournament prediction?

It’s the All Blacks’ world and we’re living in it. The Irish will enjoy their best RWC run but will fall short in the final against New Zealand.

*odds subject to change

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