Bet on it ... A New Zealand side will win Super Rugby in 2019!
Cape Town - New Zealand sides will once again dominate this year's Super Rugby tournament, if bookmakers are to be believed...
The 24th edition of the tournament kicks off on Friday when the Chiefs host the Highlanders in Hamilton (08:35 SA time).
Since the inaugural tournament back in 1996, in the 23 years of competition, on only seven occasions has a New Zealand team not emerged victorious.
And leading SA bookies Sportingbet can't see that becoming eight in 2019.
The defending champion Crusaders, looking for a hat-trick of titles - and a 10th overall - have been installed as 5/2 favourites, followed by another three sides from All Black country - the Hurricanes (7/2), Chiefs (6/1) and Highlanders (8/1).
The Lions are also on offer at 8/1, followed by, perhaps surprisingly, the Jaguares at 12/1.
The Waratahs (14/1) and Brumbies (20/1) are next best and are expected to fight for Australian Conference honours.
The Blues are once again considered the weakest of the NZ teams at 25/1, followed by the Sharks (28/1), with Stormers and Bulls both at 33/1.
The Rebels (50/1), Reds (100/1) and Sunwolves (500/1) can be laughed off as title contenders.