The Rugby World Cup Big Kick-Off

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th IRB Rugby World Cup kicks-off at Twickenham on Friday night, with hosts England taking on the unpredictable attacking flair of Fiji. Over the next 61 days, 20 teams will play 48 matches in 13 venues, all fighting for the right to claim the crown of Rugby World Champions at Twickenham on Saturday October 31st.

The Teams

It’s one big rugby party and everyone is going to be there. Reigning champions New Zealand will be most people’s short odds favourites to claim their third world crown, and the All Blacks remain the big draw in the oval ball game. Hot on their heels will be Southern Hemisphere rivals Australia and South Africa, both serious challengers on their day, and both double world champions of the past. Argentina will also be looking to turn up to the party to relive some of the glory moments they have had in the past, most notably their third place finish in 2007. European rugby will be represented by hosts England, as well as 6-Nations big guns France, Ireland and Wales. Scotland have been improving of late and will be looking to improve on their best finals performance – a semi-final back in 1991. Italy will also be looking to cause a shock or two on the way. Alongside the more established sides will be the exciting Pacific Island nations and World Cup regulars Samoa, Fiji and Tonga, all capable of producing enthrallingif not always winning rugby. Then there’s the ever-improving nations of Japan, USA and Canada – again all World Cup regulars with developing games that may just scare the big boys on an off-day. With Uruguay, Georgia, Romania, Uruguay and Namibia completing the set, this promises to be the most competitive event ever, with some of the big group-stage scores of the past perhaps replaced by closer, more competitive games. With all the information of who to back and when, follow the world’s best rugby tipsters at

The Pools

With the top 2 teams in each of the 4 pools qualifying automatically for the quarter-finals, at least two of the four pool look relatively easy to call. In Pool C, New Zealand and Argentina look nailed on to finish first and second, with Tonga waiting in the wings to capitalise on any slip ups from the South Americans in particular. Similarly, in Pool D, France and Ireland will be battling it out to progress as pool winners, with Italy looking the most realistic threat. Pool B is rather more intriguing. South Africa look odds-on favourite to qualify as pool winners, with Scotland favourites to join them. However, the Scots’ game against Samoa could be one to watch, as the Pacific Islanders certainly offer a real danger. Undoubtedly the real drama awaits in Pool A where England, Australia and Wales have been drawn together in what has inevitably been dubbed ‘The Group of Death.’ One of these big guns will fail to make the last-8, so match-ups between the three will be particularly vital and compelling viewing. To see what the top rugby tipsters think, visit

The Players

It’s the Oscars of rugby with every star name in attendance. Whether you love a silky smooth fly-half in the shape of New Zealand’s Dan Carter or Ireland’s Jonny Sexton, or are more a fan of the grizzled old veteran like the All Blacks’ Richie McCaw, Italy’s Sergio Parisse or Ireland’s Paul O’Connell, this tournament has it all. If you are more of a fan of rampaging back rows, what about England’s Billy Vunipola, American SamuManoa or Australia’s David Pocock? If it’s speed that gets you going, Wales have the rapid pace of wing George North, France the quick-fire turn of foot of Wesley Fofana, Argentina the lightning wing or full-back play of Juan Imhoff , Scotland the elusiveness of Stuart Hogg, and Australia the all –round freakish athleticism of Israel Folau. Add world players of the year from both 2014 and 2013, Brodie Retallick and Kieran Read respectively, to the mix, along with established superstars of the world game Bryan Habana, Thierry Dusautoir, Matt Giteau and Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, among others, and it really is a who’s who of rugby celebrity. Of course, this being a world cup, we have the privileged of checking out some of the stas of the smaller rugby nations too – Fijian NemaniNadolo, the USA’s TakudzwaNgwenya and Samoa’s Tim Nanai-Williams could all impress with their combinations of speed, power and no insignificant technique. To understand the players that could influence proceedings, check out the pre and post-match tipping information from the world’s best expert rugby tipsters and   Top Tournament Try Scorer Betting                         Top Tournament Points Scorer Betting Julian Savea (NZ)- 6.00                                                  Daniel Carter (NZ) – 3.25 Nehe Milner-Skudder (NZ) – 10.00                           George Ford (Eng) – 5.00 Ben Smith (NZ) – 11.00                                                  Beauden Barrett (NZ) – 6.50 Bryan Habana (SA) 12.00                                               Hadre Pollard (SA) – 8.00 WaisakeNaholo (NZ) – 13.00                                       Jonathan Sexton (Ire) – 8.00

The Venues

As well as the spiritual home of English rugby, Twickenham, which will host the final on 31st October, and that of Wales, Millennium Stadium Cardiff, traditional Aviva Premiership stadiums Kingsholm (Gloucester) and Sandy Park (Exeter Chiefs) are joined by stadiums more familiar to followers of the round ball code – Elland Road (Leeds United as well as Rugby League’s Leeds Rhinos), Manchester City Stadium, Leicester City Stadium, St James’ Park (Newcastle United), Brighton Community Stadium (Brighton and Hove Albion), Stadium MK (MK Dons) and Villa Park (Aston Villa). Throw in the 2012 London Olympic Stadium and Wembley, spiritual home of English football, for good measure, and you have 13 venues more than capable of providing the atmosphere and platform for fireworks to ensue. Venues can also play significant influence over performances and results, so check out what the expert rugby tipsters think at  

The Tips

There really is only one place to visit for the best rugby tips on all the matches at this extraordinary event. Make this Rugby World Cup a profitable one by following the world’s best rugby tipsters, at

To Win Outright Betting

New Zealand – 2.20 England – 5.00 South Africa – 7.00 Australia – 8.50 Ireland – 10.00   All odds courtesy of Bet365 and correct as of 14.00 GMT on Friday 18th September   By: Steven Paget]]>