Ireland, Scotland, host nation Japan, Samoa and Russia will contest Pool A of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and we have a video preview from the panel and the latest betting.
To begin with let's take in a preview from Brent Graham and the panel in this recording of the Use It Or Lose It show which is streamed live on our Youtube channel every Monday night at 21:00.
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Ireland finished third in the Six Nation's earlier in the year, finishing with a record of 3 wins and 2 defeats. The defeats came in Wales and at home to England but they did beat Scotland 22-13 in Edinburgh and they will come up against the Scots again here. Ireland's warm up matches delivered wins at home to Italy (29-10) and home (19-10) and away (27-17) to Wales but they were thrashed 57-15 by England at Twickenham.
In RWC 2015 Ireland once again failed to get beyomd the quarter finals, a round they have fallen at on a total of 6 occasions. They won all 4 of their pool matches to finish ahead of France and Italy before crashing out to Argentina.
Scotland finished fifth in the Six Nations managing just 1 win alongside 1 draw and 3 defeats. That sole win came early in the tournament at home to Italy (who finished with the wooden spoon) but Scotland did end on a high with a sterling fightback to draw 38-38 with England at Twickenham. In their warm up matches Scotland lost 32-3 to France away from home before beating Les Bleus 17-14 in Edinburgh. After that they beat Georgia at home (44-10) and away (36-9).
A fourth placed finish in 1991 is Scotland's best return in RWC finals and in 2015 they came through the pool stage as runners up to the Springboks (3 wins and 1 defeat) and they were edged out at the quarter final stage by the Wallabies in controversial circumstances.
Host nation Japan will look to the crowd and their performance in the 2015 RWC pool stage for inspiration, the highlight of which was a 34-32 victory over the Springboks. They won 3 and lost 1 of their matches in those finals but finished third in the pool just 2 points behind second placed Scotland and they have yet to make it to the knockout rounds.
Japan's most recent warm up match also came against the Boks and they finished soundly beaten (41-7). Other preparations include the Pacific Nations Cup which Japan won thanks to a 100% record in their pool comprising of victories over Fiji (34-21), Tonga (41-7) and USA (34-24).
Samoa came thorugh qualifying in Oceania and then booked their place in the finals with comfortable wins over Germany in the play offs. Their preparations included the Pacific Nations Cup where they beat Tonga (25-17) and lost to USA (13-10) and Fiji (10-3) and most recently they lost 34-15 to Australia in Sydney.
Samoa have made it to the quarter finals twice from 7 attempts although the most recent of those came in 1995. In RWC 2015 Samoa were also in the same group as Scotland and Japan but their only win came against USA.
Russia came through qualifying to book their ticket to the finals although they benefited from points deductions for Romania and Spain for rules transgressions. A recent 85-15 hiding off Italy in a warm up suggests they will battle to make any sort of mark. Their only previous appearance in the finals came in New Zealand in 2011 when they lost all 4 of their matches, scoring 57 points in total and conceding 196 in a pool which included Ireland, Australia, Italy and USA.
Pool A To Finish Top Betting
Note odds are an average of what was available as of 06:00 on Sunday 15th September but are subject to change
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