Irish Rugby Union World Championship odds slashed

The bookies are smiling kindly on Ireland as they slashed the odds for them winning the Rugby Union World Cup to 9/1. The men from the Emerald Isle topped their qualifying pool with a 24-9 mauling of France on Sunday.

The result saw the Irish come through the group with a 100% record, picking up two bonus points on the way.

The only thing separating Ireland from a place in the last 4 is Argentina and the two sides go head-to-head in a semi-final clash at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium this coming Sunday. The Puma’s own odds to win the World Cup have also been slashed, to 20/1 from 40/1. New Zealand remain the favourites at 5/4.

Irish coach Joe Schmidt is already facing selection headaches; Peter O’Mahony is ruled out of the rest of the tournament after picking up a knee injury and Sean O’Brien could be banned after being cited for throwing a punch during the encounter with France.

Skipper O’Connell could also be set to miss the rest of the tournament after sustaining a hamstring injury and full back Rob Kearney admitted his absence would be a blow. Speaking on the IRFU website on Monday, Kearney said: “You never like to lose players through injury, especially ones of the calibre that we have lost. And the captain as well. But when you are in tournaments like this and the physicality is so great, you can see other teams suffering from it too.”

“You don’t have a huge amount of time to sit around and think about it. We have got another massive Test match (against Argentina) in six days’ time. We’ve got to keep looking forward and get on with it, as cruel as it might sound.”

Rhys Ruddock has been drafted into the squad and is already being tipped as replacement for O’Mahony in the last 8 encounter.

Fancy some tips for the rugby world cup?  You can check out The Sports Guru here, who specialises in a range of sports in addition to rugby, including football, tennis and American football. 

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