Wales Rugby World Cup Odds Piece: – March 27 2023

Wales Rugby World Cup Odds: Dragons An Outside Bet To Win Webb Ellis Cup

Daire Walsh

Following a somewhat turbulent Six Nations for them on and off the pitch, betting sites are turning their attention to Wales’ chances of making an impact at the Rugby World Cup in France later this year.

Because of a contract dispute with the WRU, there was the possibility that the Welsh players might take strike action and not fulfil their third round encounter against England at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on February 25.

This didn’t come to pass in the end, but there remains some pressing issues within the union and results have not been going the right way for the national team in the past 12 months or so.

Either side of a Six Nations triumph in 2021, Wales recorded just one win from five games during the 2020 and 2022 Championships under the guidance of former Scarlets supremo Wayne Pivac.

A further series of questionable results led to the dismissal of Pivac with his fellow New Zealander Warren Gatland returning to the hot seat he had held for 12 years from 2007 to 2019.

Though Gatland was enormously successful in his first tenure – winning no fewer than three Grand Slams – it will take him more than just a few months to get Wales back to their clinical best.

Wales Have Performed Well At Previous World Cups

There were some signs of encouragement within games, such as claiming a try bonus in a 41-28 defeat to France in Saint-Denis on the closing day of the Six Nations.

Yet Gatland remains a coach with a winning mentality and will know that a solitary victory over Italy in 2023 isn’t good enough for a side with Wales’ pedigree.

The Dragons have performed well under him at the three previous World Cups, reaching the semi-final stage in 2011 and 2019.

They were on course to reach the last-four in 2015 as well, but a late try from Fourie du Preez saw them suffering a 23-19 reversal at the hands of South Africa in a quarter-final encounter at Twickenham Stadium.

Despite being in a difficult spot at the moment, it is anticipated that Wales will still make some form of impact at this autumn’s finals. Included alongside them in Pool C are Australia, Fiji, Georgia and Portugal.

Some Tricky Encounters At Pool Stages

On paper, the Welsh are more than capable of overcoming most of these teams, but Gatland and his charges have reason to be wary.

In Pivac’s final two games as Wales head coach, Georgia and Australia both got the better of them.

Georgia are currently just two spots below the ninth-placed Wales in the world rankings and with Fiji just a couple of more positions back in the current standings, they will need to be on their toes throughout the pool stages if they are to overcome their 2023 Rugby World Cup betting odds.

Welsh Down The Pecking Order In World Cup Betting

Although there is a feeling that Gatland will improve Wales in time for the tournament’s opening fixtures, they are an outside bet for an outright success in the eyes of the best betting sites for rugby union.

Squeezed in between pool stage rivals Australia and Argentina, the Welsh find themselves at 33/1 with BetVictor for World Cup glory.

There are some others who are more convinced of Wales mounting a challenge with Bet365 offering odds of 28/1 on them achieving a first-ever final success in the global tournament.

Door Is Open For A Potential Semi-Final Spot

Should Wales advance into the knockout rounds, it is more than likely that one of England, Japan or Argentina will provide the opposition.

While they might fancy their chances against any of these sides, the same is true for their would-be opponents.

With New Zealand, France, Ireland, South Africa and Scotland all on the opposite side of the World Cup draw, it isn’t unrealistic for any of these teams to have aspirations of securing a final-four spot.

A massive amount of experience remains in the ranks with international centurions George North, Dan Biggar, Alun Wyn Jones and Taulupe Faletau still very much part of Gatland’s plans.

When you consider only eight players have played 100 or more tests for Wales, it is vital for the Kiwi to have 50% of this cohort at his disposal.

Leigh Halfpenny is currently on 99 caps for the Dragons – though he has passed 100 international appearances if you include his exploits with the British & Irish Lions – and he is another player who could prove vital to Wales’ World Cup hopes.

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