2015 Rugby Union Specials: Ireland worth a poke for double glory

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There is a bumper year of international rugby union ahead in 2015 and fans of the game betting with Ladbrokes are in for an added treat.

To accompany the Six Nations, which is followed by the Rugby World Cup on English soil, the bookmakers have drawn up some win-win specials.

While rank outsiders Scotland are not given any realistic chance at 2000/1, hosts England and reigning Six Nations champions Ireland’s odds of 10/1 and 33/1 respectively to win both competitions in the same year are worth some serious consideration.

Double French or Welsh success at 100s and 50/1 respectively does look as tough a task as these countries. odds suggest right now.

Stuart Lancaster’s Red Rose certainly have the pedigree in both competition, winning the world cup Down Under in 2003 and making two other finals besides.

However, after a slightly disappointing Autumn in which the coaches couldn’t quite decide on their best team, the England’s Six Nations conquerors of 2014 could well be the bet to take a chance on.

With mightily impressive New Zealander Joe Schmidt at the helm, who masterminded four trophies for Leinster within only a three-year period, this Ireland side look the business.

Ireland are currently ranked third in the world standings ahead of fourth-placed England, thanks to defeating both Australia and South Africa in the Autumn.

Schmidt’s close-knit group skippered by Paul O’Connell also led the All Blacks 19-0 in 2013 before agonisingly being robbed of victory at the death.

With a rock-solid pack and Johnny Sexton of Racing Metro, arguably the best playmaker in international rugby, pulling the strings, Ireland can finally shake their world cup hoodoo.

Five times the Irish have made the quarter-finals and never progressed to the last four, but as the 8/11 Pool D favourites that looks certain to change in 2015.

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

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