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Rugby World Cup Group A Odds Favor Ireland to Finish First at -400

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in Rugby

Jul 12, 2019 · 3:20 PM PDT

Ireland and Scotland contest a lineout.
Old rivals Ireland and Scotland are among five countries in Group A of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Photo by Conor Lawless (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • Ireland are -400 favorites to win Group A at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan
  • Scotland, Japan, Samoa and Russia round out the group
  • Ireland beat Scotland 22-13 in the 2019 Six Nations Tournament

In eight World Cups, Ireland have reached the knockout stage seven times. But the Irish have never won a match thereafter, going 0-7 in quarterfinal play.

Scotland may not carry Ireland’s consistency on to the pitch but at the 1991 Rugby World Cup, the Scottish did reach the semifinals.

Both old rivals are competing in Group A at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, a pool that also includes Samoa, Russia and host Japan.

2019 Rugby World Cup Odds

Team 2019 Rugby World Cup Group A Odds
Ireland -400
Scotland +325
Japan +2000
Samoa +20000
Russia +50000

*Odds taken on 07/12/19.

Ireland (+500) are given the best chance of any country in the group to take the title in the 2019 Rugby World Cup odds.

The two top teams in the group advance to the knockout stages of the tournament.


On form, the Irish are capable of beating any team in the world. Last November in Dublin, Ireland posted an impressive 16-9 verdict over world #1 New Zealand. At the time, people were ready to anoint the Irish as the best team on the planet.

A few months later, Ireland lost decisively to England (32-20) and Wales (21-13) at the Six Nations.

That’s the way the Irish work. At the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Ireland stormed to a 4-0 record in pool play, whipping 2011 RWC runner up France 25-9. In the quarterfinals they took a spectacular pratfall and were drubbed 43-20 by Argentina.


The Scottish get to set the tone for their tournament right off the bat, tangling with group favorites Ireland in their opener. In their only previous meeting with the Irish at the RWC, Scotland were 24-15 winners. But that was in 1991.

Perhaps more significantly in terms of advancing to the knockout round, Scotland is a combined 7-0 in RWC play against Japan (3-0), Samoa (3-0) and Russia (1-0).


The Japanese showed what they are capable of in the 2015 RWC, stunning eventual semifinalist South Africa 34-32 in pool play. But a 45-10 loss to Scotland in their next match ultimately cost the Japanese a chance to advance.

Playing in front of their home fans, they’ll be a dangerous foe. Scotland and Japan square off Oct. 13 at Yokohama in the final group match for both sides. The winner will likely be off to the knockout stages.


There was a time when the Samoans could stand and go toe-to-toe with any nation but that was a long time ago. The Samoans reached the quarterfinals in three of the first four RWC but have failed get past the group stage ever since.

Samoa’s all-time record against Scotland (1-9-1) and Ireland (1-5) won’t help their cause. The Samoans lost 25-6 to Japan at the 2015 RWC.


Considered a Tier B team on the world stage, this is the second time Russia has qualified for the RWC. The Russians went 0-4 in 2011, including a 62-12 loss to Ireland.

Group A Prediction

1st: Ireland

2nd: Scotland

3rd: Japan

4th: Samoa

5th: Russia

SBD’s 2019 Rugby World Cup Coverage

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