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Host country France kicked off the Rugby World Cup 2023 on 8 September against New Zealand, setting up the stage for a dramatic two months ahead. The final match is scheduled to take place on 28 October at Stade de France in Saint-Denis. But what everyone’s trying to guess right now is what team will end up victorious.
South Africa is the defending champion and one of only four nations to lift the prestigious Webb Ellis Cup. The Springboks will have a long and tiring road ahead as a total of 20 teams hope to bring joy to their supporters.
The Wallabies are hoping to get their third World Cup win, which is way overdue since their last 2003 triumph. Ireland is another team with high hopes, leading the Men’s World Rugby Rankings and looking to join the Rugby World Cup winners club. Traditionally, New Zealand and England are among the favourites, but can the host France prevail on home soil?
You know what they say: History tends to repeat itself. Interestingly, only four nations have won this championship – New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and England.
Among them, New Zealand has won three times, more than anyone else. Until the last World Cup, at least. South Africa won the previous Cup, equalling New Zealand’s three wins. That’s one of the reasons these teams are considered strong contenders to win once more. Australia’s Wallabies won twice, in 1991 and 1999. Finally, we have England, whose team won once in 2003.
So, if we’re basing our guess on these results, two teams are the obvious favourites – New Zealand and South Africa, with the latter being the most recent winner.
Before diving deeper into the odds and what the public says, let’s see some official numbers. Six teams have reigned this Rugby Union ranking system over the years. New Zealand leads the way with 743 total weeks on top. South Africa, Ireland, and England follow with less impressive results of 196, 61, and 40 total weeks topping the chart.
This year, however, New Zealand isn’t in the top three. A change is coming, perhaps.
As of September 2023, Ireland leads the Rugby Union chart with 91.82 points. Right up next was South Africa with 91.08 points, followed by France its 89.22 points. The top-five group is rounded up with New Zealand and, surprisingly, Scotland. They had respective 89.06 and 84.01 points.
According to bookies, Australia and England are among the top five likeliest Rugby World Cup 2023 winners. Yet, their Men’s World Rugby Rankings would suggest otherwise. England ranked 8th with 79.95 points, while Australia was right below with 79.87 points.
If these charts are considered, Ireland, South Africa, and France are the strongest contenders for snatching this championship’s Webb Ellis Cup.
Do sportsbooks agree? We’ll analyse the odds right up next.
Sportsbook odds are always a reasonable indicator of setting one’s expectations straight. After all, it’s their job to provide competitive yet realistic odds to punters.
When it comes to listing the likeliest Rugby World Cup winners in 2023, we’re focusing on the outright odds given before the start of the championship.
We’re consulting the offers at two casino and sports betting sites for Aussies approved by our experts. The first is Bambet, and the second is QuickWin. Both have packed betting sections and excellent offers for Aussies.
Rugby World Cup 2023 Odds at Bambet
Rugby World Cup 2023 Odds at QuickWin
Based on the odds, New Zealand is the clear favourite, and France is next. Bambet has given similar odds to New Zealand and France, while QuickWin’s difference is more obvious. Either way, the odds have spoken, and New Zealand leads the prediction charts here.
It’s fair to mention that France’s Les Bleus are playing at home, perhaps having the biggest motivation to show off in front of their audience.
If we analyse the Rugby World Cup 2023 four Pools, Pool A and Pool B are the most interesting.
Pool A hosts New Zealand and France, promising a strong fight right from the start. Italy, Uruguay, and Namibia will have to give optimal performance if any of them hopes to progress to the knockout stage.
Pool B has South Africa and Ireland, two other favourites of the Cup. Since it’s likely these two teams would move on, Scotland, Tonga, and Romania are the ones that could deliver a surprise.
Australia and England seem safe in Pool C and Pool D, respectively.
The Winner and the Runner-Up from both Pool A and Pool B move in different groups of the knockout stage. This situation opens the possibility for some fiery matches in the semifinals. Even a reprisal of the first Rugby World Cup 2023 match between France and New Zealand isn’t excluded.
We hope to see the Wallabies with an improved form and better performance than the disappointing 2022.
History shows they always manage to reach the knockout stage but struggle to reach the semifinals and finals. In 2003 and 2015, they made the final but came out runners-up. While everyone would probably bet against the Aussies, the team and its management remain confident they can put up a good fight.
Ireland’s team has had strong results lately, earning them the top place on the ranking table. The Wolfhounds also managed to beat the All Blacks last year. Imagine a scenario where Ireland gets Pool B’s first spot, and New Zealand ends up second in Pool A. The favourite may get knocked out of the Cup if Ireland repeats its successes in 2022.
France has the homeland advantage and is motivated to join the other Rugby World Cup winners. However, the team has lost Romain Ntamack due to a knee injury, which could shatter the national dream of lifting the Web Ellis trophy.
As for New Zealand and South Africa, it seems that everyone believes these two will play in the final. A RugbyPass survey with 80,000+ votes shows that 29% of fans believe the Springboks will win, while 26% gave their vote for the All Blacks.
We also have to mention the predictions by Nick Bentley and his AI supercomputer. Simulating 10 million outcomes of the Rugby World Cup 2023, the supercomputer gave up the following predictions:
That said, it remains to be seen whether the public, the sportsbooks, or the supercomputer ends up right. Thanks to its recent great form, it would be surely amusing if Ireland joined the club of Rugby World Cup winners.
Nonetheless, we can’t help but cheer for our Wallabies, hoping they will turn things around to their advantage.