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Rugby World Cup 2015: Pool A Preview

England

England rugby union team

England to emerge as top dogs from the Pool of death in rugby world cup

Pool A looks like the pool of death. It contains a trio of rugby giants in the shape of England, Australia and Wales, who are joined by the lesser-fancied Fiji and Uruguay. This is certain to be a three-way shoot-out for a place in the quarter-finals.

The amount of talent at Stuart Lancaster’s disposal means he has been able to leave out names such as Dylan Hartley, Manu Tuilagi and Danny Cipriani and still go into the rugby World Cup with one of the strongest and most feared squads in the world.

England had a solid, if unspectacular Six Nations campaign, finishing second to Ireland, but home advantage is a big deal and their 11/10 price with Coral to top the Pool is fair. The hosts have won four of their last five matches against the Wallabies and are two unbeaten against the Welsh. England are the biggest fish in this particular pool.

The men from ‘down under’ may have something to say about that, but their inconsistent form means they will have a real battle on their hands just to emerge from this group. Australia have won only nine of their last 19 tests but their pack has improved greatly since 2011. Three of those victories have come from their four matches so far in 2015, with one of those wins against the supposedly immortal New Zealanders. If they can carry that form into the World Cup they look a good price at 7/4 with Boylesports to pip England to the top spot.

Wales have been somewhat erratic of late. Their Six Nations campaign saw them record a superb victory over Ireland but they were beaten by England and only scraped past both Scotland and Italy. They need the likes of Leigh Halfpenny and George North to be in electric form but their record of one win in 15 against the Wallabies, and one in five against England, means they may struggle in a pool they are 4/1 to top with Sky Bet.

Fiji are not the team many remember from that wonderful win over the Welsh at the 2007 rugby World Cup. In Nemani Nadolo they have one of the most exciting players on the planet but he can’t be expected to do it all alone. They did beat Italy last year but making it through is a big ask, reflected by their 500/1 odds with Unibet to win the Pool.

Uruguay are in only their third World Cup and are expected to just be along for the ride. They did beat Georgia on their last appearance and will be targeting their match with Fiji as a possible victory.

Bookies.com’s betting tip – England win Pool A @ 11/10 with Coral

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