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On 9 September 2011, the Rugby Union World Cup will kick off with the first of 48 fixtures. This is set to be the largest sporting event ever held in New Zealand, and it has not been ignored by odds makers. Futures are already out on who will win this event outright.
The qualifying teams have already been selected, with each team’s schedule in place. New Zealand and Tonga are set for the first fixture, which will be hosted in Auckland. Unfortunately for Tonga, New Zealand is going into this event as the favorite to win the tournament outright.
New Zealand is riding a record of 1,711 points, coming from 232 tries. They are far beyond their closest rival, Australia, by almost 500 points. Their dominance is expected to spill into the tournament, with odds makers putting them as a heavy favorite going into the event. New Zealand is 8/11 to win the event.
Australia is second to New Zealand in the odds, and they have the statistics to back it up. Australia holds 1,212 points over 34 games, with 153 tries to their name. Australia’s middle of the road conversion rates could stifle their efforts, but they are in place with 4/1 odds.
Though they may have won the 2007 Rugby World Cup, South Africa seems to have lost their edge. With 24 matches on the ballot, they are barely half way to New Zealand’s record for points. While they have slipped, South Africa holds odds of 6/1 going into the tournament.
England had made it into the Final during the 2007 Rugby World Cup, and they are not completely out of the running for success in the 2011 edition of the RWC. Though they are not as statistically strong as New Zealand, Australia, and France, they carry 111 tries and 1,097 points. A heavy number of penalties has muddied their efforts, but they are still installed with odds of 8/1 in the chase to the World Cup.
Though only ten nations are mentioned by name on the odds, fans are able to bet on every unlisted team by selecting the field. While there may be quite a few long shots in the event, there is always a hope for success.
New Zealand 8/11
South Africa 6/1
The Field (Any Other Country) 40/1