It’s a wonderful time of year to spend seven weeks in France and 20 teams will converge on the nation for the tenth edition of the Rugby World Cup.

There is a sense of expectation among the hosts with the French assembling a formidable side and at the time of publish, they are the equal favourites with New Zealand and South Africa to lift the William Webb Ellis Cup.

This will be the second time the French have been the sole hosts of rugby union’s premiere event and there is plenty to look forward to in this tournament.

We’ve got you covered with a plethora of Rugby World Cup markets here at Ladbrokes, so read on and find our best bets for the 2023 Rugby World Cup below.

POOL A

New Zealand, France, Italy, Uruguay, Namibia

The tournament kicks off with a bang as co-favourites New Zealand and France face off in the opening match.

Chances are they will get a second shot at one another at the end of October, with both primed for a run to the final.

That doesn’t exactly bode well for the hopes of Italy, Uruguay and Namibia who are going to be stuck in a fight for third place, with Italy at $81.00 to win the group while Uruguay and Namibia are at $501.

From a punting perspective, it pretty much boils down to who you like in the head to match as far as who wins the group.

New Zealand have shown a willingness to play their way into these tournaments over the last decade, while France will want to put on a show in front of their home fans.

26-year-old Danian Penaud will be a key figure on the wing for the hosts and I’ll have a play on him to be the top tryscorer for his team.

As for the All Blacks, it really depends on how you expect them to play as the tournament rolls on.

The forwards should have their opportunities but it’s tough to pass up the price on Will Jordan, especially with the chance for a couple of fill ups against the rest of the pool.

Jordan’s fly half Richie Mo’unga is going to have no shortage of opportunities to hone his kicking radar across the group stage and is more than capable of crossing the line once or twice

France to Win Pool A @ $1.85

Damien Penaud Top France Try Scorer @ $2.75

Will Jordan Top New Zealand Try Scorer @ $3.25

Richie Mo’unga Top Tournament Point Scorer @ $3.75

POOL B

South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Romania

Just like Pool A, it’s a battle between two for overall honours in Pool B with South Africa and Ireland clear favourites over the chasing pack.

Scotland has a chance at springing an upset over South Africa which would potentially turn the group on its head, but in this instance, it’s better to stick with the two better teams.

Ireland will enter the tournament as the number one ranked nation in the world, just clear of South Africa and on the back of an unbeaten Six Nations campaign, they look like great value to take out top spot.

While South Africa is a likely runner up in the pool on the back of a runners up campaign in The Rugby Championship, they have the makings of a side that could fall apart.

Even though it’s unlikely, and Scotland are not exactly setting the world alight, I’m going to have a small play on the Scots to qualify just because of their odds.

Ireland to Win Pool B @ $2.15

Scotland to Qualify @ $6.00

POOL C

Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Portugal

Finally, we get a pool with some intrigue regarding who will qualify for the knockout phase.

The easy line is to take Australia and Wales to make it through, which is what the market is favouring however both enter the tournament with major question marks.

Still winless in 2023, even the most ardent Wallabies fans are wondering if Eddie Jones actually has a plan, however they are consoling themselves with the similarities to their 2015 campaign as a recently appointed coach takes an unheralded squad to Europe for the World Cup.

Wales are a total mess with just the one win in the Six Nations and no signs of improvement in their warm up matches, splitting with England before being hammered by South Africa.

That could be music to the ears of a Fijian side that is primed to take a major step forward on the international stage.

Currently on the third line of betting, Fiji looks to be the value play to finish as the runner up behind the favoured Aussies.

One of the bright spots for Australian rugby in 2023 has been the play of “Marky Mark” Nawaqanitawase who is going to occupy one wing spot for as long as Australia is in the tournament.

Have a play on him to finish as the team’s top try scorer as Eddie Jones looks to utilise his wide men to get around teams.

Fiji to Finish Runner Up @ $3.75

Mark Nawaqanitawase Top Australian Try Scorer @ $3.50

Isasia Droasese Top Fiji Try Scorer @ $9.00

POOL D

England, Japan, Argentina, Samoa, Chile

Pool D will provide us with the opportunity to see just how much Japan and Argentina have closed the gap on the traditional powerhouse of England.

Regular viewers of southern hemisphere rugby will know just how much Argentina have improved having seen them become properly competitive in The Rugby Championship over the years.

England has not had an ideal lead up to the tournament going 2-3 in the Six Nations while losing to Wales, Ireland and Fiji in their warm up matches.

Frankly, England is too good to not qualify but Argentina has a determination that is hard to match and I like their chances of surprising everyone and winning Pool D.

That leaves Japan on the outside looking in, the darlings of 2015 and 2019 have challenged themselves over the last year and come up short, winning just one of their last ten matches.

While some of those defeats have come at the hands of France and New Zealand, what is most concerning is the losses to the likes of Samoa and Italy in the last two months.

That should be enough to see England through, albeit in uncomfortably tense circumstances.

Argentina to Win Pool D @ $1.95

Julian Montoya Top Argentina Try Scorer @ $6.00

Jonny May Top England Try Scorer @ $5.00

TOURNAMENT WINNER

In all honesty, at the start of this preview I was ready to back France to win the World Cup on home soil, but the more information you study, the stronger the case for Ireland to win becomes.

Following the group stage predictions, Ireland would have a tough Quarter Final against New Zealand, who would finish second in Pool A, before a Semi Final against Australia (or England).

On the other side of the draw the French would face South Africa first up before drawing Argentina or Fiji in the Semi Final and there’s only one potential outcome there.

In nine World Cups, only one Northern Hemisphere team has won it all and I’m expecting that to change here, with the first all European Rugby World Cup Final, where Ireland comes out on top.

Ireland to Win the World Cup @ $5.50