We are just 15 months away from the top 20 rugby nations colliding in Japan for the ninth Rugby World Cup. This will be the first time the World Cup is held in Asia. The tournament will feature four pools spread out over 43 days across 12 different venues.
New Zealand is the +110 favorite, with Ireland (+400), England (+550), Australia (+750), South Africa (+1000), Wales (+1800), France (+2200), Argentina (+3300), Scotland (+3300) and Japan (+12500) rounding out the top 10.
Who’s Qualified thus far
Currently, there are 17 teams qualified for the World Cup. Germany and Samoa are set to begin a home-and-away Europe/Oceania playoff series with the Sportsbook joining Pool A. The Rugby Africa Gold Cup is underway right now, with the Sportsbook of that tournament joining Pool B. The final team to qualify will come from the Rugby World Cup 2019 repechage tournament in France. Three of the four teams in that tournament are yet to be determined as it will be made up of the runner-up in the Africa Gold Cup round 3, the Europe/Oceania playoff loser and the Asia/Oceania playoff Sportsbook between Cook Islands and Hong Kong. Canada is the lone squad already qualified for the repechage tournament.
The groups shape up like this:
Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia and Germany/Samoa.
Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1 and the repechage Sportsbook.
Pool C: England, France, Argentina, USA and Tonga.
Pool D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji and Uruguay.
New Zealand Early Favorite to Three-Peat
At +110, New Zealand is the heavy favorite for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. This should come as no surprise as the All Blacks have been on a torrent pace of late. Since claiming the Webb Ellis Cup in 2015, New Zealand has faltered just two times, once to Ireland in Chicago and once against Australia in Brisbane. New Zealand is the only team to claim three World Cup titles and the first squad to win back-to-back championships.
This is the first time in three World Cups that the All Blacks will not be captained by flanker Richie McCaw. McCaw captained the team from 2006 to 2015 but announced his retirement following the 2015 World Cup. The club looks to Sam Whitelock for leadership. The 30-year-old lock has 99 caps under his belt, including two World Cup victories in 2011 and 2015.
New Zealand tops Pool B which is rounded out by South Africa, Italy, Africa 1 and the repechage Sportsbook. South Africa appears to be the only threat to New Zealand in this group. The Springboks have the talent to cause some trouble, but their inexperience could be their downfall. As a club they have just two players with more than 60 caps, compared to the All Blacks, who have six players with north of 60 caps.
The full list of odds to win the 2019 Rugby World Cup is below:
Odds as of July 5