The wait is over as the 2015 Rugby World Cup finally kicks off with England v Fiji later today.
Stuart Lancaster’s men are fully-expected to get their tournament off to a winning start, with England priced at 1/66 to beat the Flying Fijians at Twickenham.
But can the Red Rose go all the way and lift the World Cup for the first time since 2003?
That’s what we’re asking in today’s Ladbrokes News poll, Who will lift the Webb Ellis Cup on October 31.
Read on as we run the rule over the market leaders and then have your say in the poll below.
New Zealand @ 5/4
The reigning champions are the favourites this time around and it is difficult to see anyone stopping the All Blacks if they bring their A-game. An easy group consisting of Argentina, Tonga, Georgia and Namibia means the Kiwis are unlikely to have been put through the mill during the early stages, leaving them well-rested for an assault on the knock-out phase of the tournament.
England @ 4/1
Second favourites, hosts England have an altogether trickier start to the tournament with Australia and Wales in their group of death. Such games though could mean Lancaster’s side are up to speed ahead of the knock-out stages, if a little jaded and bruised.
South Africa @ 7/1
The Springboks have seen Jean de Villiers, Duane Vermeulen, Fourie du Preez, Willem Alberts, Pat Lambie, Victor Matfield and Francois Louw all return from injury lay-offs just in time for the World Cup. Should all arrive in tip-top condition then the South Africans could make a mockery of their relatively long odds. However, concerns that the tournament is just a shade too early for the the returning crop mean they will be approached with caution.
Australia @ 7/1
Australia come into this tournament ranked sixth in the world – their lowest ever ranking – but the two-time winners can never be discounted. With Israel Folau, who was at is electrifying best against the Lions, at their disposal the Aussies will fancy their chances.
Ireland @ 9/1
Back-to-back Six Nations winners Ireland come into the tournament with more expectation than ever. The Shamrock have never reached the final four of the competition , but three easy games to start could see them build some momentum.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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