Who is going to win the Rugby World Cup? Opta says it’s a four-horse race – news today

  • September 6, 2023

Making pre-tournament predictions is akin to opening yourself up to mockery and humiliation.

Fortunately, data provider Opta and their AI have come to the rescue, simulating this year’s Rugby World Cup 10 million times to see what the most likely outcome is.

The calculations are determined using recent form, historical success, their respective pools and the fixture difficulty with them, as well as whole host of other data.

And although there is no accounting for injuries, suspensions and loss of form within the tournament, it still gives us a pretty decent idea about who the favourites are heading into the tournament.

The results show there are four teams well ahead of the pack.

Ireland, hosts France, defending champions South Africa and three-time winners New Zealand are considered overwhelming favourites to win the Webb Ellis Cup in Paris on Sunday, October 29 — streets ahead of the chasing pack, led by Argentina.

Opta data predicts who will win the 2023 Rugby World Cup.(Opta)

Only one team from the northern hemisphere (England in 2003) has ever won the Rugby World Cup, but Opta has Ireland and France as slight favourites to join Martin Johnson’s legendary side.

Ireland have, arguably, their best-ever side, winning their fourth-ever grand slam during this year’s Six Nations.

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