New Zealand’s top betting agency have installed the All Blacks as favourites for the 2011 World Cup while the Wallabies are second above the Springboks.
The New Zealand TAB believe the All Blacks will replicate the 1987 World Cup and win the event on home soil next year.
‘We may as well be consistent – they’ve been favourites for every World Cup,’ TAB rugby bookie Mark Stafford told stuff.co.nz. ‘Potentially they’ve got the best team, and they have had every year. One day they’re going to do it and surely everything is going to line up in our favour being at home.’
Stafford added that by next year, the Wallabies will be second in line ahead of defending champions the Springboks.
‘You’ve got to try put on your fortune tellers’ hat and 18 months out the Australian team looks scary good to me,’ said Stafford. ‘Everyone’s talking Will Genia who’s an amazing rugby player – the prototype of what the modern player should be.
‘If Quade Cooper can do it, Matt Giteau can find some form and all those young forwards come through… They’ve got youth and experience, and their loose forward trio are going to be amazing too.
‘The Boks are the ones people will take early because they’re showing pretty good form, and I think they’ll be good in the Tri-Nations again. But it’s the inverse of what we’re saying about Australia. A few of their key players might be on the wrong side of 30 come the tournament.’
France are placed fourth as TAB have ruled out the European nations’ chances. TAB believe the northern powers won’t be as competitive.
‘They just seem to be slow on the uptake of change. They used to be able to set the scene and I know England have won a World Cup in the past by boring people to death, but that sort of thing has gone on too long now and there are simple ways to counter it.’
NZ TAB Rugby World Cup odds:
New Zealand $2.20
South Africa $4.75