France, Ireland or New Zealand: Who has the Opta predictor chosen as Rugby World Cup winners?

Gilbert Rugby Ball being placed for a penalty

With just days to go before the start of the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the Opta supercomputer has calculated the likely winner of the tournament, which will be hosted by France. 

The Rugby World Cup gets underway on Friday with a match between two of the favourites to win the tournament. France and New Zealand will face off at the Parc des Princes on 8th September.

However, according to Opta’s predictions, neither are at the top of the list of teams likely to win it. According to the analytics company, it is instead Ireland, the winner of this year’s Six Nations, that are tipped for the title.

Will home advantage count?

According to Opta, Andy Farrell’s Ireland side have a 21.7% chance of winning the tournament. However, they will face stern competition. Home side France have a strong chance of taking the title, a 21.4% likelihood, according to Opta. On home soil, the fervent French support could make the difference.

Reigning champions South Africa are in the mix too, and a win for them could be the case once again. The Springboks have been attributed a 20.5% chance of winning this year after winning the previous edition in 2019.

New Zealand have only been given a 20.2% chance of being crowned champions, despite being many bookmakers’ favourites. Argentina (5.7%) and England (4.4%) both have an outside chance. The latter competed in the final in Yokohama in 2019, but have seen a significant drop-off in form these past months.


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Photo by Fanny Schertzer