Odds stacked in Boks' favour?

2014-11-06 20:15
Jean de Villiers (Gallo)

London - England, Wales and Ireland will face the unfamiliar feeling of being underdogs in their own backyards when host southern hemisphere opposition in Test matches on Saturday.

The home countries will have their credentials for next year's World Cup seriously tested when England face world champions New Zealand, Wales play Australia and South Africa visit Ireland -- and the odds are stacked against them.

Since taking the England job in 2012, coach Stuart Lancaster has mustered just two wins over the southern hemisphere's big three in 11 matches and adding a third against the All Blacks at Twickenham looks unlikely, with British bookmakers making the visitors 1/3 favourites.

Wales have not beaten Australia in nearly six years, losing their last nine meetings against the Wallabies, but they are seen as the most likely host victors at 13/10, with Six Nations champions Ireland 2/1 to beat South Africa.

The trip to Europe will be a marker for the touring sides ahead of the 2015 World Cup in England and Wales, with a team from the southern hemisphere 2/1 favourites to lift the trophy and a European winner an outside 4/11 bet.

(Odds supplied by British bookmaker William Hill)



15 Rob Kearney, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Chris Henry, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Paul O'Connell (captain), 4 Devin Toner, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Jack McGrath

Substitutes: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 Mike McCarthy, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Eoin Reddan, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Felix Jones

South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Teboho “Oupa” Mohoje, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Coenie Oosthuizen, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 JP Pietersen


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