The eyes of the sporting world will be on France later this year as the tenth edition of the 2023 Rugby World takes place.
The tournament will provide punters with a plethora of betting opportunities during what is guaranteed to be a stunning showcase of international rugby.
Rugby fans will be eager to visit this list of UK betting sites to grab the best odds before World Cup starts and when the action gets underway.
Read on as we take a closer look at the 2023 Rugby World Cup schedule and opening stage pools, before previewing the prestigious tournament.
Rugby World Cup 2023 Schedule
The schedule for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France is as follows:
- Pool Stage: September 8 – October 8.
- Quarter-Finals: October 14/15.
- Semi-Finals: October 20/21.
- Third-Place Play-Off: October 27.
- Final: October 28.
Rugby World Cup 2023 Pools
- Pool A: New Zealand, France, Italy, Uruguay, Namibia.
- Pool B: South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Romania.
- Pool C: Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Portugal.
- Pool D: England, Japan, Argentina, Samoa, Chile.
Rugby World Cup 2023 Preview
Only four teams have lifted the Rugby World Cup trophy since it was first staged in 1987 – New Zealand (3), South Africa (3), Australia (2) and England (1).
However, with home advantage, France are the favourites with the bookmakers to finally break their duck in international rugby’s biggest tournament.
They have finished runners-up on three previous occasions (1987, 1999 & 2011), and claimed fourth place in Japan in 2019.
A tough opening game against New Zealand will undoubtedly be a test of their title credentials, but they should still qualify for the knockout phase regardless of the result in that game.
Things will get trickier thereafter, but France demonstrated with their performances in the 2022 Six Nations that they can perform under pressure.
New Zealand are second favourites to win the World Cup and there are plenty of reasons to believe they could make it all the way to the final.
They are on a recovery mission after losing to England in the 2019 semi-finals and could be tough to beat if they get on a roll in France.
Reigning champions South Africa should also be competitive, but only one team (New Zealand – 2011 & 2015) has ever retained the World Cup.
Several respected pundits have tipped Ireland to get their hands on the trophy following their recent impressive run of form.
However, they have a habit of peaking too soon before major tournaments and it would be a risky move to back them to emerge victorious in France.
While France appeal as the most likely winners of the World Cup, the value bet to reach the final could be Australia if they get their act together.
Their form has been topsy-turvy over the past three years, but they have landed in the right half of the draw and could be dangerous.
The Wallabies were in similar shape heading into the 2015 World Cup, but defied expectations to progress to the final.
With most bookmakers offering each-way terms of 1/3 of the odds, the 11/1 currently on offer for Australia looks a little too big.