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    Rugby World Cup Betting – New Zealand Firm Favourites
    Published : 8/30/2011 (Updated : 8/30/2011 10:00:48 AM)
    Rugby World Cup betting returns in September as New Zealand are the firm favourites to win the 2011 Rugby World Cup - starting September 10th - ahead of Australia, South Africa and England. The host nation who won the first Webb Ellis trophy in 1987, will attempt to win for their second time and dethrone current holders South Africa.
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    The seventh Rugby World Cup starts on September 10th with the twenty best teams from both the North and South Hemispheres battling for the Webb Ellis Cup.

    New Zealand (1.625*) will host the tournament which will feature the cream of world rugby in what should be an enthralling event.

    The All Blacks are playing fantastic rugby, and couple their attacking intensity with a resilient defence.

    Over the past couple of decades New Zealand have been recognised as the best team in the world, yet underachieved in comparison to their potential.

    A failure to win the World Cup since the inaugural tournament in 1987 and only one subsequent final appearance is a poor record considering their dominance of world rugby over the last quarter of a century.

    They have however, in recent years re-established themselves as the dominant force in world rugby. And with home field advantage, New Zealand will take some stopping.

    Their close rivals Australia (5.000*) are the second favourites to win their third World Cup despite a mixed build-up to the tournament.

    The Wallabies suffered a surprise 32-23 defeat to Samoa, which highlighted a lack of strength and depth in the squad.

    The Australians’ blooded young players in the run-up to the World Cup, and despite the loss to Samoa the team have gelled well.

    With the spectacular Will Genia in their side, The Wallabies are expected to remain unbeaten, which would set-up a tantalising final with the All Blacks, who they haven’t beaten in Auckland in 25 years.

    Defending champions South Africa (9.680*) have performed poorly since the last World Cup in France, and are ranked as the third favourites to retain the trophy.

    The Springboks’ performances over the last year have been disappointing, and they recently lost five of their six matches in the 2010 Tri-Nations tournament.

    Some of the South African media have questioned the methods of head-coach Peter de Villiers as he fielded a second-string side in each of their recent competitive games.

    His aim was to transform his peripheral players into hardened test-match campaigners but after two heavy defeats, de Villiers’ tactics have come under heavy scrutiny.

    2003 winners England (15.9600*) are the most fancied side in Europe, and Martin Johnson’s side are the only Northern Hemisphere team ever to have won the tournament.

    England have a kind group draw and are expected to cruise through to the quarter-finals where they may face a tricky tie against an unpredictable French (21.800*) side.

    Having reached the final on the past two occasions, England have a good chance to put their name on the Webb Ellis trophy again in 2011.

    Finally, Ireland (35.980*) will start the tournament as the fourth ranked team in the world. Ireland’s tough preparation for this year’s Rugby World Cup should pay dividends, as head-coach Declan Kidney hopes to bring home Ireland’s first Webb Ellis trophy triumph.

    Click here to see the best 2011 Rugby World Cup odds

    *All odds subject to change

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