Australia have been installed as the 2/7 favourites with the bookmakers to win the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.
The 11-time winners have dominated this tournament since its switch to the current format in 1995, losing just one of the events. That was when they had to settle for being runners-up in 2008.
The defending champions defeated England in the final in 2017 in what was a low-scoring-game. They came out on top 6-0 in Brisbane in front of their home supporters, justifying starting that match as the long odds-on favourites.
It is no surprise that the bookmakers make Australia so short in the betting once again. The Kangaroos will travel to England in 2020 for an Ashes series which will be ideal prep for the World Cup in 2021. It would be a huge surprise if any nation were able to topple the favourites from extending their record in the competition.
Hosts England 11/1 to prevail on home soil
2017 runners-up England have the advantage of being the host country next year. Despite being the home side, they are 11/1 shots to win the tournament for the first time since Great Britain broke up into individual nations.
The rugby league team can take some inspiration from how well the England rugby union team fared at the World Cup last year. Eddie Jones’ men reached the final, beating the best international side in the world, New Zealand, in the last four.
Although the England rugby union team lost to South Africa in the final, it was an excellent tournament for them. They have also responded well to that loss as they are in contention for the Six Nations, where they have odds on the Six Nations 2020 of 7/4.
England are going to need a huge performance if they do come up against the Kangaroos though, as they will be big underdogs in the betting to defeat them in 80 minutes.
New Zealand second-favourites in betting to repeat 2008 success
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) February 3, 2020
New Zealand have the best chance of denying Australia another World Cup win, according to the betting, as they are the 6/1 second-favourites in the outright market.
The Kiwis upset the odds in 2008, beating their rivals 34-20 in the final at Lang Park, Brisbane. They did, however, lose five years later in a repeat of that final, going down 34-2 in a one-sided affair.
New Zealand won a close contest against Australia in the Trans-Tasman Test in Auckland in 2018. That game went right down to the wire, with the Kiwis prevailing 26-24, so they do have a recent win against the World Cup favourites.
Those looking to take Australia on in the betting will probably do so with New Zealand as they are the number one ranked team in the IRL world rankings. The Kiwis’ squad is full of NRL talent who will not be afraid of the occasion at the biggest tournament in international rugby league.
The 2021 World Cup begins on the 23rd October when the opening ceremony will take place at St James’ Park in Newcastle.