Poor French record no reason to oppose Wales in World Cup semis

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Wales were 80/1 to win the Rugby World Cup before the start of the current tournament and punters to have taken advantage of this price must be growing in confidence that they could be in for a big payday.

The Welsh have constantly improved since their tough-to-take 17-16 defeat to South Africa in their opening game and they are now on the brink of a first ever appearance in the Rugby World Cup final.

Only France now stand in the way of this dream after both were successful in their quarter-final showdowns.

A fine defensive display saw Wales overcome Ireland, while France ensured that Wales were the sole British Isles representatives in the last four by beating a slow-starting England.

Wales can now look forward to a first Rugby World Cup semi final in 24 years and a repeat of their defensive performance will again be pivotal against France.

The showdown is likely to be won and lost in the scrum and Wales will need their pack to be on the top of their game again.

Wales have lost six of their last seven encounters with France, including a relatively hefty 28-9 reverse in the Six Nations earlier this year.

However, many of Warren Gatland’s youngsters have improved markedly on the international stage since and the team now seems to have the ideal blend of youth and experience.

Wales are now 11/2 in the Rugby World Cup odds to win the tournament, but there is every chance that they will find New Zealand too strong if they also reach the final.

Another potentially profitable Rugby World Cup bet is the 5/2 that New Zealand do indeed beat Wales in the final in their own country.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.