New Zealand 1/9 to win Rugby World Cup after reaching final

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A Herculean effort is going to be required from France to stop New Zealand from ending their 24-year wait for a second Rugby World Cup success, judging by the latest odds offered on the possibility by Ladbrokes.

The All Blacks were already 4/6 to get their hands on the Webb Ellis Cup prior to the semi-finals but a hugely impressive 20-6 win over rivals Australia, who had beaten them twice recently, on Sunday morning has pushed them all the way in to 1/9.

France meanwhile, having come in to 4/1 in the aftermath of their contentious victory over Wales have flown out to 11/2 solely on the basis that they will now have to defeat the hosts to take the trophy rather than the Wallabies.

Les Bleus have had more to celebrate against the top-ranked nation in the world than most though and have twice before knocked them out of the tournament, including famously at the quarter-final stage four years ago.

In addition, they have triumphed in two of their last five against them, however Marc Lievremont’s side were conquered with relative ease 37-17 when they met in Pool A last month and consequently are considered very unlikely to spring another surprise.

A look at the way both squads have performed so far in the competition doesn’t really offer France much encouragement, with New Zealand scoring 293 points to their 152, a whopping 39 tries to their 15 and 25 conversions to their ten.

In their favour, they do have the joint-top try scorer in Vincent Clerc, who has six to his name already, but one of only two matches in which he failed to produce the good was, you guessed it, the initial encounter against the All Blacks.

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