If the betting was to be taken at face value, then Ireland are not considered as the best bet of the teams competing in the 6 Nations to win the Rugby World Cup.
This honour falls on England, who are 7/2 second favourites to triumph on home soil, while Ireland are available at 7/1.
However, there are clear reasons why Joe Schmidt’s side could be terribly overpriced, despite never having previously even reached a World Cup semi-final, let alone lift the trophy.
Especially noteworthy is the fact that Ireland have now climbed to second in the world rugby rankings following their 35-21 success over the weekend at the Millennium Stadium, despite being without influential fly-half Johnny Sexton.
Although a friendly in which both teams were without a plethora of players that can be expected to start at the World Cup, Ireland looked far more the cohesive unit in their first match since beating Scotland in March to be confirmed as 6 Nations winners.
The big plus for Ireland is that they will always be tricky to beat on account of how well they perform the basics. They compete at the breakdown, kick and chase well, keep handling errors to a minimum and are safe at the line-out.
Meanwhile, they have now showed that they have solid strength in depth, which will be vital at the World Cup, bearing in mind four group matches are scheduled over a 23-day period and then a further three matches over consecutive weekends to lift the trophy.
Good news for Ireland is that the passage through Pool D should be fairly straightforward, with two teams progressing to the quarter finals and the opposition consisting of France, Italy, Canada and Romania.
This is arguably the easiest pool to qualify from, especially compared to England having Australia and Wales in opposition in Pool A and only two spots available.
What’s more, should Ireland top their pool, one of the easier quarter-finals should be secured against the runners-up from Pool C, where Argentina and Tonga are the frontrunners to qualify alongside probable group winners New Zealand.
Ireland are in form in 2015, have a deep squad, an easier qualifying pool and players that understand the demands of the coach. This suggests they have their best ever chance of winning a Rugby World Cup.
This is particularly the case after other weekend results where Australia beat New Zealand for the first time since 2011 and Argentina condemned South Africa to a third successive summer defeat. No nation is looking bullet proof at present.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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