It may seem strange given their overall record in the competition, but Australia will almost certainly be labeled as an underdog by betting sites heading into next year’s World Cup finals in France.
The Wallabies won this global competition in 1991 and 1999, and they also reached the final in 2003 and 2015.
For good measure, they finished third in the 2011 tournament and fourth in the inaugural World Cup (which they co-hosted with neighbours New Zealand) in 1987.
Indeed, Australia has reached the last eight in each of the nine finals that have taken place to date.
The only other countries to have accomplished this feat are the aforementioned New Zealand and France.
Australia has dropped in the world rankings.
Nonetheless, the Wallabies have dropped to ninth in the world rankings in recent weeks, a record low for the Australian national team.
The much-discussed 39-37 defeat to the All Blacks in the third round of The Rugby Championship in Melbourne on September 15 was the catalyst for this dramatic shift.
While this seemed a little harsh on Dave Rennie’s men given their overall performance in this test, a subsequent 40-14 loss to New Zealand in Auckland last Saturday makes it difficult to argue against them falling down the pecking order.
The Wallabies are considered outsiders for World Cup glory.
Of course, world rankings and World Cup order of merit are two entirely different propositions, and the 2023 Rugby World Cup betting odds reflect this.
Despite being ranked lower in the world, the Wallabies are favored to win the Webb Ellis Cup over Wales, Argentina, and Scotland, according to bookmakers.
In the case of Wales, who have been drawn in the same pool as Australia for next year’s finals, this is an interesting anomaly.
Whereas Wales has odds of 19.0 to 26.0 to win the World Cup for the first time, Australia’s chances of repeating the magic of 1991 and 1999 are much shorter.
This is because Ladbrokes has the Wallabies at 12.0 to win the World Cup for the third time in their history.
There hasn’t been much movement in Australia’s World Cup odds.
Although form is important in determining where you rank in the world rankings, Australia’s performances in the Rugby Championship appear to have had little impact on their World Cup odds.
Before the tournament began in August, and following the conclusion of their unsuccessful three-test summer series with England, Australia was widely regarded as 11.0 outsiders to win a third World Cup.
This placed them sixth in the standings, behind France, New Zealand, England, Ireland, and South Africa, and has remained so ever since.
Part of the reason for this is that, despite their mixed results in recent months, online rugby betting sites still expect the Wallabies to easily advance to the World Cup knockout stages.
They will compete with Wales for pole position in Pool C, but it would be a huge surprise if Fiji, Georgia, or a yet-to-be-announced final qualifier overtook them in the race for a top-two spot.
The Wallabies are hoping for better fortune than in the 2019 Finals.
Making it to the quarter-finals will not be considered a great achievement in Australia, and the rugby community in the southern hemisphere will be looking for signs that a better performance than their disappointing 2019 effort is on the way.
Surprisingly, Australia faced Wales, Fiji, and Georgia in the World Cup pool stages three years ago.
After losing to the Welsh 29-25, they were forced to settle for second place in Pool D, putting them in the quarter-finals against England.
Australia is still capable of competing with the best.
The English were coached by former Wallabies supremo Eddie Jones back then, and a 40-16 defeat ensured that Australia exited the tournament with a whimper.
Dave Rennie succeeded Michael Cheika after the World Cup, and the New Zealanders’ current record of 11 wins from 29 internationals indicates that consistency has been an issue throughout Rennie’s reign.
Having said that, the Australians have beaten New Zealand, England, France, and South Africa since he took over, demonstrating that they are still capable of defeating the best in the world on any given day.
Rennie has also given a number of new caps in the last two years, and he hopes to see them develop into full internationals by the time the World Cup rolls around.
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