The 2019 Rugby World Cup begins in Japan and defending champion New Zealand is the favorite to win the World Cup once again at +125 odds.

New Zealand All Blacks Beauden Barrett Rugby World Cup
New Zealand’s Beauden Barrett attempts to lead the All Blacks to their third consecutive Rugby World Cup. (Image: AP)

According to European bookmakers, New Zealand is the big favorite to win their third straight Rugby World Cup after victories in 2011 and 2015. New Zealand defeated Australia in the previous World Cup final.

Ireland arrives in Japan with the #1 ranking, but the Irish are only +650 odds to win the Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand (2) +125
South Africa (4) +400
England (3) +450
Ireland (1) +650
Wales (5) +800
Australia (6) +1400
France (8) +3300
Scotland (7) +4000
Japan (10) +30,000

In eight World Cups the Kiwis won four titles including the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987.

Australia won the Rugby World Cup twice between 1991 and 1999. South Africa also won the Rugby World Cup twice with their first victory in 1995 and their last in 2007. England has won the World Cup once, which occurred in 2003 during an epic battle against Australia.

With New Zealand seeking a three peat, both South Africa and England are similar odds. South Africa, led by Faf de Klerk, is the second favorite on the board at 4/1 odds to win the Rugby World Cup.

Host Japan

The ninth Rugby World Cup includes 20 nations and features 48 matches spread out in Japan over six weeks of action with the finale on November 2. Japan will be hosting their first Rugby World Cup and they are 300/1 longshot odds to win.

Four groups of five teams will play each other in group play. The winner and runner-up in each group advanced to the quarterfinals, which begin on October 19.

Japan has a tough draw playing in Group A featuring Ireland, Scotland, Samoa, and Russia. The Rugby World Cup officially kicks off Friday with Japan playing Russia at Tokyo Stadium.

All Irish eyes will be keen on Peter O’Mahony and Conor Murray.Ireland comes in with the top ranking, yet they are only +650 to win.


The World Cup is New Zealand’s to lose. The Kiwis will square off against South Africa in group action. Group B includes New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Canada, and Namibia.

Kieran Read is the captain of the All Blacks, but Beauden Barrett is the one everyone wants to see. He’s been the named the best rugby player on the planet twice.

South Africa boasts the best hooker in the world with Malcolm Marx. Siya Kolisi made history as the first black captain of the South African squad.

England and France Pool of Death

England is in Group C with Team USA, France, Argentina, and Tonga. The Brits are 9/2 odds to win the Cup despite getting thrust onto the Pool of Death with France. It’s been 16 years since England celebrated their lone World Cup victory. There’s a lot of pressure on captain Owen Farrell’s shoulders to bring home a second title back to England.

France, led by Antoine Dupont, seems like the biggest threat to the Brits. Romain Ntamack is France’s youngest player and the future of the team.

Team USA comes in ranked #13. USA faces an uphill battle against top-tier teams England and France. The Yanks have only won three matches in seven World Cup appearances. Team USA includes former (American) footballer Joe Taufete’e, who intended on playing in the NFL as a defensive end before a blown ACL cut short his career.

England and New Zealand fought each other in the World Cricket Final. The Brits love another shot at the All Blacks. Ashbourne, England is the home of medieval rugby with the annual Royal Shrovetide match. It feels like the Middle Ages since England last won a title.

Sleeper Wales?

Group D action features Australia, Wales, Fiji, Georgia, and Uruguay. Wales comes in at 8/1 odds to win the World Cup. They’ve never made a final and could only muster up a third place in 1987 as their highest finish. Alun Wyn Jones will become a Welsh legend in perpetuity if he can rally Wales to a victory. Jones is coming into the World Cup as the MVP of the 2019 Six Nations Tournament.

Meanwhile the banged-up Aussies are only 14/1 odds to win the Rugby World Cup despite a recent upset victory over the All Blacks. The Aussies are captained by Michael Hooper, but it’s vice-captain Samu Kerevi who’s the playmaker.

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