Bookies.com look at why hosts England won't win the Rugby World Cup, which starts on 18th September, so New Zealand are worthy 13/10 favourites with Coral.
The Rugby World Cup is upon us. After four years, the world’s greatest players will come together in England as they look to lift the famous Webb Ellis Trophy.
New Zealand are the holders and the resounding favourites to retain their crown at best odds of 13/10 with Coral. However, no side is under more pressure than Stuart Lancaster’s England. The host nation are a top price 9/2 with Betfair, Betway, Sky Bet and William Hill to win the title for a second time, but it will be far from easy.
Here, Bookies.com looks at five reasons why England won’t win the World Cup.
Dealing with the pressure of a rugby mad nation is difficult. Much like the England football team, the union lads have had to cope with the immense amount of media attention and hype that has surrounded them prior to this tournament. Players have been on the back and front of newspapers for over two months and the nation expects. People still have fond memories of 2003, but this is a different team, and they may struggle to deal with that.
Being hosts doesn’t guarantee success
Hosting such a prestigious event is meant to be seen as a major advantage, but that is not always the case. Look at Brazil in last year’s football World Cup, for example; sometimes teams can’t deal with the added hype of the home crowd. Over half of the seven renewals of this competition have been won by teams other than the host nation.
They’re not even the best team in Europe
England haven’t won the Six Nations since 2011. Ireland are successive winners of that competition, making them European rugby’s standout side, not Lancaster’s team. If the hosts are struggling to beat fellow British Isles sides and teams on the continent like France, then clashes with the likes of New Zealand and South Africa are going to prove far too tough.
Not enough world class players
England legend Steve Thompson has already called into question the quality of this England squad. “If you look at the past three World Cup winners — New Zealand, South Africa and England — the year they went into a tournament they had settled teams full of world class players throughout the squad,” he said. “If you look through the squad, there’s no one you’re really scared of.” Perhaps harsh words from the country’s most capped hooker, but when you compare this team to the one in 2003, it looks well below par.
They don’t know their best team
Lancaster has chopped and changed with great regularity in the lead up to this World Cup. His centre pairings have switched constantly and it’s pretty difficult to pick a starting XV. He may opt to change up his team depending on the opposition, but the best teams tend to head in with a very settled line-up.
All this adds up to the All Blacks being the team to beat.
Bookies.com best bet: New Zealand win Rugby World Cup 2015 outright @ 13/10 with Coral.