It’s a new year, which means the new international rugby season is upon us. We have some great rugby to look forward to in the new year, starting with the Six-Nations and Super Rugby tournament all kicking off in February. While later in the year the international rugby season takes us to the, four nations where all eyes will be on New-Zealand to see if they can continue their dominance of the tournament? Here follows our 6 nations betting preview.
Six Nations International Rugby Betting Preview
We are waiting with great anticipation for the 6-Nations tournament to kick off, ironically, on 6-February. The 1st match starts with Italy vs France. Both teams have been disappointing and will look to rectify it in 2016, however the interesting stuff starts a day later with Scotland vs England and Wales vs Ireland. England, Ireland and Wales will all be fancying their chances to win the prestigious title.
What to expect From England in 2016
It is England with newly appointed coach Eddie Jones, poached from the Stormers to get back into the international rugby arena that will really be the interesting team to watch. England is currently pre-tournament favourites to win the six-nations according to UK bookmaker Williamhill, with Ireland and Wales closely following behind them.
It is surprising for England to be labelled as favourites especially after their disappointing World Cup campaign. If you ever wanted to know what role a coach plays in a teams success England will provide the answer!
Eddie Jones is not expected to make a lot of changes, and will largely use the same squad that made an exit in the first round of the World Cup, which was hosted by England. Whether England’s disappointing campaign can be contributed to poor coaching or to the players simply not being up to standard, will be interesting to see in the upcoming international rugby season.
While the team at rugby betting, are firm believers that a coach plays a critical role not only in the overall success of a team, but also in the moral and overall attitude of a team which is so important in international rugby. With that being said we are just not convinced that England can make a turn around so close after a world cup, where so much was expected of them.
The scars still remain and the wound is still fresh, even with a world class coach such as Eddie Jones, who is arguably the best coach in international rugby history? It is of our opinion that England will struggle to get used to Jones’s game plan and tactics, where the emphasis will be on a much more attacking style of rugby.
It won’t surprise us if England drops their first couple of matches while getting used to the new regime of Eddie Jones, while making a flourish in the later stage of the tournament. However England’s flourish will be too late, to get on top of the table, and at best, might finish runners up. Englands real test will come at the end of the year, when the top Southern Hemisphere teams comes to tour England.
What to expect from Wales & Ireland rugby in Six Nations 2016
It is with Wales & Ireland where the smart money lies. Bookmakers have Wales and Ireland at a stalemate of odds @3.75 for an outright win, and rightfully so we may add, since there is currently very little to chose between these two teams.
It is Wales who broke English hearts, in which was arguably the best match of 2015, with a last gasp penalty goal, from nearly 60-meters out, by international rugby superstar Dan Biggar. Even Though Wales made an exit in the quarterfinals of the world cup, things could have been much different for them had it not been for 1 or 2 controversial calls that went against them in the knockout game against South Africa, where they lost 19-23 to the Boks. Wales almost won them for the second time in as many meetings, which is incredible considering Wales has never won an encounter against South Africa in more than 100-years before 2015!
It is the overall feeling that Wales rugbys future is bright, there are some new young players coming through the ranks, combined with equally good coaching staff and a new founded believe from the team, all of which certainly makes Wales an interesting prospect for the upcoming six-nations tournament.
So much was expected from the Irish coming into World Cup 2015, however it will be argued that they delivered very little. Ireland could not have asked for a better start to the tournament though, winning all their matches in the group stages. Which resulted in them finishing on top of their group setting up a quarterfinal meeting against Argentina, which they were heavily favoured to win at odds of @1.60 by UK Bookmaker BetVictor.
Heavy favourites or not, Ireland lost their quarterfinal match against Argentina, which resulted in a mauling of 40-23 in favour of Argentina. Whether Ireland’s 17-point loss in the quarterfinals can be contributed to, them just not rising up to the occasion, or Argentina simply being the better side is debatable. It is of the rugby betting crews opinion that the latter is true. Even Though Ireland has some quality young players in their ranks combined with good, old quality veterans, which certainly makes for a very well balanced team, their loss against Argentina, while being held close by a weak Italian team does raise some doubts against betting on Ireland, in the upcoming 6 Nations tournament.
Both Ireland and Wales are all tied up at odds of around @3.75 as straight up winners for the upcoming international rugby season, by all major bookmakers. The bookies got this spot on since there’s really little to choose between these two teams, however with all things being equal, and the above being considered it is of our opinion that Wales makes for the best bet, as an outright winner, for the upcoming six nations tournament. Although both Ireland and England has the potential to surprise!
The rest France, Scotland & Italy
Italy has started to show some signs of slight improvement in the international rugby arena, however they largely remain the same old Italy and there is really nothing to mention here. Italy is priced at odds of @251.00 as an outright winner, and the probability of them winning the tournament is probably less than snow in the middle of the desert. With that being said you might want to look for them as upset winners for a few matches in the international rugby season.
Similar to Italian rugby, Scottish rugby has improved tremendously over the past couple of years. Yet their overall downfall has generally been inconsistency. In matches where a lot was expected from Scotland they have disappointed, yet in matches where little was expected from them they proved to be tough contenders. There is a general feeling that Scottish rugby is on the right track, however it will still be a number of years before you can label Scotland as realistic 6 Nation contenders (sorry Scottish fans…)
The problem with French rugby can be summed up in two words, domestic tournament. While France does have a very competitive, domestic tournament it differs tremendously from leading domestic tournaments like the ITM Cup and Currie Cup in South Africa. Why? The answer is simple, instead of giving up and coming young players a chance to step up to the next level, France rather chooses to recruit high profile veterans in the twilight of their careers. Sure this might make for increased viewing numbers which in turn leads to more revenue, however France rugby will be on a downward spiral for years to come, until they learn to rather develop local talent instead of recruiting old age players from abroad.
With that being said the French will always remain the unpredictable team in international rugby. You just never know what you will get from the French, one week they are brilliant and the next the are poor. Expect some upsets from the the French in the upcoming Six-Nations tournament but nothing enough to bring them even close to being title contenders, that is why they are prized at odds of @5.50 which is way to generous in our opinion.
Study both Italy, Scotland and France closely in the upcoming 6 nations tournament for some upset wins but if you are looking to pick an outright winner, look right past them, and straight to Wales for the outright tournament winner!