The 20 best Rugby teams in the world will dispute the world title in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan from September 20 to November 2, 2019.

In our previous article, we discussed New Zealand likely winning their third consecutive Rugby World Cup title. But while the All-Blacks are favored to win, they are not without good competition from the other groups. This time around, we’ll take a look at each group and pick a winner from each pool to come up with the top teams in this competition.

“Trophy" Group A

  • Ireland -400
  • Scotland +335
  • Japan +2000
  • Samoa +20000
  • Russia +50000

*odds taken from as of 6/14/19

As hosts, Japan may pull off some surprises. And while their current squad may not be as good as their 2015 team under Eddie Jones which beat South Africa 34-32 in Brighton to produce what is perhaps the biggest upset in Rugby World Cup history, Jamie Joseph’s boys beat Italy in Oita last year to show that the 2017 Asia Rugby Champions are ready for the big stage.

Scotland is predicted to finish second in the Group and this is a team which won the Calcutta Cup in 2018 and 2019 after England had won the tournament nine straight years prior to 2018. In the 2015 World Cup, Scotland came within 30 seconds of upsetting Australia until a last-minute penalty sealed the victory for the Wallabies.

Ireland looked worked out when they played in the Six Nations where they really had a rough tournament. They suffered losses to England and Wales this year and have not delivered the kind of performance needed to beat the elite teams in the sport. They may have slipped as favorites in the rugby betting odds but they are still the third best rugby team in the world. When you look at Ireland, they are one of the most improved teams in the last couple of years especially with 2018 World Rugby Player of the Year Johnny Sexton leading the way. They are huge favorites to win Group A and I think they will win this group with ease. Prediction: Ireland

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“Trophy" Group B

  • New Zealand -1000
  • South Africa +550
  • Italy +20000
  • Canada +50000
  • Namibia +100000

*odds taken from as of 6/14/19

South Africa lost to Italy on November 2016, in what turned out to be Bryan Habana’s last international. But the Boks rebounded in 2018 with an impressive win over New Zealand in Wellington. Coach Rassie Erasmus has formed one of the most harmonious team in years with Siya Kolisi being the first ever black to become full-time captain of the Springbok.

New Zealand isn’t just the rugby betting favorite to win Group B, they are also the favorites to win it all this year. The All-Blacks are the reigning 2015 Rugby World Cup champions after surviving a furious comeback by Australia in the final game to win the title and become the first squad to win back to back Rugby World Cup championships. This team lost to South Africa in Wellington and to Ireland in Dublin last year but they have lost just thrice in their last 21 internationals played in since the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Their losses will only make them more determined to win it all again this year. The All-Blacks have a heavy competition to win it all again this year but when you talk about Group B, New Zealand is the easiest pick to make. Prediction: New Zealand

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“Trophy" Group C

  • England -225
  • France +350
  • Argentina +450
  • Tonga +25000
  • United States +50000

*odds taken from as of 6/14/19

Group C has been touted as the “Group of Death” in this tournament. England is the favorite to win this group but they could possibly get ambushed by their group-mates. France and Argentina aren’t in great form but these are two sides which have a history of stepping up their level during the World Cup. Tonga is a very physical team and that means they will always be rough and tough to play against. The United States isn’t at the elite level yet but they have been improving in years and will be determined to prove in this tournament that they are not lagging too far behind.

But if England can keep their eyes on the prize and keep their focus, this is a team that has the ability to achieve something special in Japan. England struggled with the high expectations in 2015 and was eliminated in the group stages. But England was the runner-up at this year’s six nations and save for their loss to Wales and draw with Scotland, they look primed and ready to take their first World Cup win since 2003. Prediction: England

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“Trophy" Group D

  • Wales -165
  • Australia +135
  • Fiji +6600
  • Georgia +25000
  • Uruguay +50000

*odds taken from as of 6/14/19

If Group B is the easiest to pick, then Group D is going to be a tough call with Wales and Australia. Wales is the Six Nations and Grand Slam, winners. They are the high risers in the futures odds to win the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Their victory over Ireland gave them their first Six Nations win since 2013 and extended their winning streak to 14 tests. Many consider them to be the second-best team heading to the Rugby World Cup in Japan and their recent form certainly says so.

Australia is one of the top performers at the Rugby World Cup having won the title two times. Since the inception of the Rugby World Cup, they have finished in the Top 8 of every competition and since winning their second title in 1999, they have finished fourth or higher in three out of the last four Rugby World Cup tournaments. Australia finished second to New Zealand in 2015.

I think the winner of this group will go down to who wins the Wales vs Australia matchup on September 29th in Tokyo. Wales should be the favorites to win that match and I think with their recent form, they will win that match. Australia will advance to the quarterfinals along with them, though. Prediction: Wales

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