Wales World Cup Rugby 2019 betting preview

Can Alun Wyn Jones lead Wales to RWC'19 glory? Here are our free Wales predictions

Wales are on the drift and rated about $10 chances to win the Rugby World Cup in Japan, with form and off-field controversy putting their campaign on shaky ground.

Earlier this year the Welsh were riding high as Grand Slam champions of the Six Nations tournament and were ranked No.1 in the world. Their dreams of doing better than their two previous visits to the semi-finals of this tournament were looking like being fulfilled in Japan.

But a couple of reversals against Ireland and the banishment of coach Warren Gatland’s right-hand man in the week leading up to the tournament have thrown up some challenges.

Assistant coach Rob Howley, who has been in the Welsh coaching set-up since 2008, has been sent home from Japan after allegedly breaching betting rules. The former Wales halfback and captain faces a lengthy ban from the game if found guilty but it has also thrown the team’s preparation into chaos just a few days out from their opening match.

Still, we expect the Welsh to circle the wagons and put out the displays the rugby world knows they are capable of, with a seemingly good passage through to the knockout rounds.

Their big test will come against the Australians in Tokyo on September 29, with the winner of that match in the box seat to top Pool D and have a seemingly easier run to the semi-finals.

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Where Wales will finish in the 2019 Rugby World Cup

WGL prediction: semi-finals. Wales were clinical during the Six Nations this year, with their triumph built largely on the back of resolute defence. If they can maintain that it will carry them a long way here under the tournament format.

Previous best World Cup result: semi-finals 1987, 2011

Wales’ Rugby World Cup draw

Match 8: Wales v Georgia, Monday, Sep 23, Pool D, City of Toyota Stadium
Match 17: Australia v Wales, Sunday, Sep 29, Pool D, Tokyo Stadium
Match 32: Wales v Fiji, Wednesday, Oct 9, Pool D, Oita Stadium
Match 39: Wales v Uruguay, Sunday, Oct 13, Pool D, Kumamoto Stadium

Wales’ most recent results

February 1: Wales 24 d France 19, Six Nations, Stade de France, Paris
February 9: Wales 26 d Italy 15, Six Nations, Rome
February 23: Wales 21 d England 13, Six Nations, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
March 9: Wales 18 d Scotland 11, Six Nations, Murrayfield, Edinburgh
March 16: Wales 25 d Ireland 7, Six Nations, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
August 11: England 33 d Wales 19, Wales tour, Twickenham, London
August 17: Wales 13 d England 6, England tour, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
August 31: Ireland 22 d Wales 17, Ireland tour, Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
September 7: Ireland 19 d Wales 10, Wales tour, Lansdowne Road, Dublin

Wales’ record against Pool D rivals

Australia: Played 42: won 11, lost 30, drawn 1. Points for: 634, Points against: 979
Fiji: Played 11: won 9, lost 1, drawn 1. Points for: 329, Points against: 145
Georgia: Played 1: won 1, lost 0. Points for: 13, Points against: 6
Uruguay: Played 1: won 1, lost 0, drawn. Points for: 54, Points against: 9

Wales squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Coach: Warren Gatland

Forwards: Jake Ball, Adam Beard, Rhys Carre, James Davies, Elliot Dee, Ryan Elias, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Wyn Jones, Dillon Lewis, Ross Moriarty, Josh Navidi, Ken Owens, Aaron Shingler, Nicky Smith, Justin Tipuric, Aaron Wainwright

Backs: Josh Adams, Hallam Amos, Dan Biggar, Aled Davies, Gareth Davies, Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, George North, Hadleigh Parkes, Rhys Patchell, Owen Watkin, Liam Williams, Tomos Williams.

Leading try-scorer prediction for Wales

George North: On his way to becoming the greatest try-scorer for his country. North is a relatively young veteran at 27 with 85 caps already. He is a towering figure on the win and should be close to at the peak of his powers for this tournament. Hopefully can rack up a few tries in what should be convincing early wins against Georgia and Uruguay, and the team should make a run at the semis.

Wales predictions – time to shine?

Despite the late pre-tournament dramas we think Wales can live up to our previous predictions that they will reach the semi-finals, and from there anything is possible. It’s vital though that everything goes right in the pool stage. They need to make it through largely intact and to grind out a win over the Wallabies. They have been around the top of world rugby for quite a few years now and in Alun Wyn Jones have an inspiring leader. The Welsh hordes descending on Japan will believe, as they should, this team is a real contender.

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