Ireland have slipped to third favourites in the betting on who will be crowned 2019 Rugby World Cup winners following two high profile defeats at this year’s Six Nations Championship.
Joe Schmidt’s troops seemed to have recovered somewhat from their opening day defeat to fierce rivals England, only to undo their fightback with a crushing defeat to eventual Grand Slam winners Wales.
The 25-7 loss in Cardiff was all the more concerning for the rugby betting fans who have already backed Ireland to win the World Cup in Japan, based on their ‘World Rugby Team of the Year’ form in 2018.
Having gone into the Six Nations as clear favourites to win the tournament and 3/1 second favourites for the World Cup, the Irish are now a massive 7/1 to lift the Webb Ellis Trophy in Yokohama on November 2.
In contrast, newly crowned Six Nations champions Wales have had their odds halved from 16/1 to 8/1 after beating all before them in the prestigious, annual tournament.
However, despite Wales’ recent exploits, they remain behind Ireland in the World Cup outright betting market, with Six Nations runners-up England displacing Ireland as second favourites. Eddies Jones’ troops are now 9/2 having been 13/2 before the Six Nations.
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Naturally, New Zealand – the three-time winners and defending champions – are the clear favourites, unmoved at an industry-wide price of 6/5.
Ireland’s head coach Schmidt, himself a New Zealander who will return to his native land after the World Cup, accepted that his side under-performed at the Six Nations but stressed that he still has time to get the team back on track.
“We haven’t been catastrophic but we haven’t been quite as good as we needed to be. But to lose today is really tough,” he said immediately after the Wales loss.
“We’ve won 23 of our last 26 Test matches, we’ve finished third in the Six Nations. Once upon a time that wasn’t the catastrophe that it is today for Ireland.
“The fact we’ve won three of the previous five makes it less than it should be. We’ll be the first to put our hands up and say that that’s not as good as we want to be.
“For us we would certainly encourage the genuine supporter not to lose faith with the team. The team will definitely turn up in Japan. And we will grow a bit from this.”