2015 Sports Specials: World domination beckoning for New Zealand?

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2015 promises to be a festival of sport with first the cricket, then the rugby world cups taking the headline slots and to celebrate Ladbrokes are offering a series of specials on nations participating in both competitions.

Starting with outsiders England, the firm give the hosts of the 2015 Rugby World Cup a stab in the dark at 66/1 of picking up both major trophies.

Australia, joint hosts of the forthcoming Cricket World Cup alongside neighbouring New Zealand are next at 40/1, South Africa are 33s for dual success and finally the Kiwis have the best chance according to the bookies at 25/1.

England may follow strong favourites New Zealand in the Rugby World Cup outright betting market, and partly due to hosting the Red Rose have a fair chance, but they are no more than outsiders for the cricket crown.

Having just switched captain’s and still in need of test-driving their best line up in the upcoming one-day tri series Down Under in January, the 66/1 looks about right unless fireworks happen next month.

Australia on home soil are understandably hot Cricket World Cup favourites, though like South Africa it’s their rugby team which could well let them down in this market.

An ageing Springboks unit was beaten by both Ireland and Wales in the recent Autumn Internationals, while the current Wallabies line up is among the weakest approaching a world cup.

The Aussies were beaten comfortably by England and Ireland, while also defeated by France in the autumn.

That leaves New Zealand as the rightful 25/1 favourites to scoop both titles, as the dominant force in world rugby and co-hosts of the Cricket World Cup.

The All Blacks and defending world champions have only lost two of their last 41 Tests and beat England on all four occasions they met in 2014.

Meanwhile, the Black Caps may not be anywhere like as feared in the cricketing sphere, but there is plenty of promise on home soil, not least after gaining confidence from their most successful ever year in Test matches.

Led by big-hitting Brendon McCullum, the first Kiwi to score a triple Test century, New Zealand just secured a hugely impressive 3-2 away ODI series victory over Pakistan in the UAE.

Black could be in vogue where 2015 is concerned.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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