The pool stage of the 2019 Rugby World Cup is now over and the Quarter-Finals will take place next weekend.  England will play Australia on Saturday, 19 October at 8.15am. The follow-on match is Ireland v New Zealand at 11.15am.  On the Sunday, Wales will take on France at 8.15am, with Japan v South Africa at 11.15am. Semi-Finals will take place on 26 and 27 October, with the Final on 2 November.

As you would expect, the betting on the Rugby World Cup is extensive and only likely to grow as the tournament reaches its later stages.  New Zealand are favourites to win the tournament, with bookmaker BetVictor offering odds of 11/8 that the All Blacks will lift the trophy.  The Irish team may well prove a challenge in Saturday’s match. But Ireland’s head coach, 53-year old Kiwi Joe Schmidt, remains realistic saying “We all know who are the favourites for the World Cup and it’s not us”.

England has had a comfortable progression to the Quarter Finals with the bonus of a final pool game – against France – being cancelled ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Hagibis.  England are second-favourites after New Zealand to win the Rugby World Cup and odds of 9/2 are offered by bookmakers Skybet and Betfair. England’s opponents on Saturday, Australia, are under-rated at the moment, with the best odds of 28/1 on offer from bookmaker MoPlay.  With more matches under their belts than England, and David Pocock – star of the last World Cup – seeking to retire in glory, the Wallabies have the capacity to derail the English juggernaut. But will they?

Alun Wyn Jones, captain of the Welsh rugby team, is the world’s most capped lock forward and brings a wealth of experience and spirit to Sunday’s game against France.  Wales is still operating a little under the radar during the tournament, despite winning Pool D ahead of the Aussies. France lack consistency so it is hard to predict how they will perform on the day, but the bookmakers place Wales well ahead in the betting, with bookmaker Betfair offering odds of 9/1 that Wales will win the Rugby World Cup, whilst France is reckoned to only have an outside chance of success with Betway offering odds of 40/1.

Japan, the host nation of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, have been playing wonderful rugby during the pool games culminating in a thrilling 28-21 victory over Scotland which sealed their position as Pool A winner.  Going forward, they will need to counter the physicality of their mighty opponents in the quarter-finals – South Africa. The Springboks are second-favourites, after the All Blacks, to win the tournament with Betvictor offering odds of 7/2.  Japan, in contrast, remain the underdogs although, interestingly there is a huge range in the odds on offer from bookies, ranging from 22/1 from Betvictor to 60/1 from MoPlay.  The canny punter must balance Japan’s pace, accuracy and spirit bolstered by the home advantage of wonderfully supportive fans against the power and grinding determination of South Africa.