2023 sees the tenth Rugby Union World Cup taking place, as France hosts the six-week-long tournament with the best nations from the northern and southern hemispheres battling it out for glory. We’ve taken a closer look at the tournament, so you’re ready for the Rugby World Cup – so read on for our Rugby World Cup predictions.
Rugby World Cup Overview
The 2023 Rugby World Cup kicks-off on Friday 8th September, with 20 countries aiming to lift the William Webb Ellis trophy.
The complete list of countries participating is as follows.
- South Africa
- New Zealand
The 20 teams are split into four pools of five, with the top two teams in each pool progressing to the quarter-finals.
The four pools are:
- New Zealand
- South Africa
Only four nations have ever won the Rugby World Cup – New Zealand, Australia, England, and South Africa. The All Blacks are also being only country to defend the trophy, winning it in 2011 and 2015.
The All Blacks are three-time winners, with Australia winning it twice and England once, and all three nations are likely to be popular Rugby World Cup predictions this time around.
South Africa are the defending champions, having won the trophy in 2019, the third time they tasted World Cup success, having been crowned winners in 1995 and 2007.
Rugby World Cup Bet Types
Here is a brief overview of the most popular betting markets you will see on this year’s Rugby World Cup.
Outright Winner – Betting on the outright winner means you bet on who you think will win the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Match Winner – This is betting on the outcome of a particular Rugby World Cup match with three options available – the home team, the away team, or a draw.
Handicap – Handicap betting sees each team either given points or have points taken away from them and is a popular betting market when there is a strong favourite in a match. An example could be Scotland receiving a 12-point start from South Africa, meaning South Africa would need to win by 13 points or more to cover the handicap. However, if Scotland won the game or lost by less than 12 points, they would be the winner on the handicap.
Winning Margin – A bet on the winning margin sees you placing a wager on the winning team and their margin of victory. An example could be France beating Ireland by 1-5 points.
What Do Rugby Union Odds Mean?
Rugby union betting odds are the same as any betting odds – they provide the likelihood of a specific event occurring.
Odds of 2/1 mean that for every unit you place, you will win two units if your prediction is successful.
So if you placed $10 on New Zealand to beat France at odds 2/1 and the All Blacks won, you would receive back $30 – $20 winnings plus your initial $10 stake.
These are fractional odds, but they can also be shown as decimal odds, where 2/1 would be 3.00.
Rugby World Cup Top Teams
This year’s Rugby World Cup looks like a wide-open contest with a case to be made for several nations with many countries already making it onto punters Rugby World Cup predictions lists.
Rugby World Cup Predictions – Pool Stages
Pool A should see France and New Zealand comfortably through to the quarter-finals, with the top spot likely to be decided when the two clash in the tournament’s opening game on 8th September.
Italy have improved under new coach Kieran Crowley, but it’s tough for them to negotiate a way past France or the All Blacks.
Pool B is likely to revolve around South Africa, Ireland, and Scotland, with the Scots the most likely to come up short in the battle for a top-two spot.
Ireland have been in excellent form in recent months, but there is a fear once again that they’ve peaked in between World Cups. South Africa lost five of their 13 games in 2023, but they will be primed for this tournament as they aim to become the first country to win four Rugby World Cups.
Wales and Australia will likely occupy the top two spots in Pool C to reach the quarter-finals. However, Fiji should never be underestimated. Warren Gatland is back in charge of Wales and knows how to make them a tough side to beat, while Eddie Jones has returned to the Wallabies. They should both reach the last eight but will the respective coaches have had time to form a squad capable of going further – it’s unlikely.
England should have the quality to top Pool D, with Japan and Argentina set to battle it out for the runner-up spot. Having dismissed Eddie Jones, Steve Borthwick is the man who England hope can deliver another Rugby World Cup, but they are a side in transition, and many will watch to see how their Six Nations campaign works out.
Rugby World Cup Predictions – Quarter Finals
If the top two seeded nations in each pool do go through, it throws up a quarter-final that will see France or New Zealand likely taking on South Africa, highlighting that the bottom half of the draw potentially offers countries an easier route to the last four.
Rugby World Cup Predictions – Semi Finals
Our Rugby World Cup predictions for the two semi-finals would be South Africa v Australia and France v England, with South Africa and France progressing to the final.
Rugby World Cup Predictions – Final
France v South Africa final would be an intriguing contest, pitching together the host nation against the reigning Rugby World Cup holders. It is no doubt the final organisers are hoping for, and it could be that 2023 is finally set to be France’s year, having been defeated in three finals over the years.
The French possess an outstanding squad, and with the backing of home support, they look a solid bet to win the 2023 Rugby World Cup and finally lift the William Webb Ellis trophy.
Punters around the globe are waiting for the Rugby World Cup to get underway later this year, with many already pencilling in their Rugby World Cup prediction for what should be a fantastic tournament.
France are worthy favourites, and with the advantage of home support, 2023 could finally be the year that Les Bleus win their first-ever Rugby World Cup.
With home advantage, France are the current favourite with the bookmakers to lift the trophy for the first time and are a popular pick with punters already betting on their Rugby World Cup predictions.
The current holders of the Rugby World Cup are South Africa, who defeated England 32-12 in the 2019 final in Yokohama, Japan.
The 2023 Rugby World Cup takes place in France, with the tournament running from Friday 8th September, until the final on Saturday 28th October.