Cape Town – Following their Six Nations thrashing of France at Twickenham, bookmakers have slashed England’s odds of winning this year’s Rugby World Cup title in Japan.
Eddie Jones’ side were dominant in their 44-8 win at home on Sunday, a week after they were equally impressive in beating defending champions Ireland 32-20 at Lansdowne Road in Dublin.
As a result, leading SA bookies Sportingbet have cut England’s odds from 6/1 to 4/1.
The All Blacks, searching for a hat-trick of Webb Ellis Cup titles, remain favourites at 11/10, followed by Ireland – at 333/100 – who have drifted from 3/1 previously.
The Springboks are next best at 15/2, followed by Australia (12/1) and Wales (14/1).
France (25/1), Argentina and Scotland (both 33/1), complete the list of realistic contenders.
The 2019 World Cup kicks off on Friday, September 20 as hosts Japan face Russia.
The following day will see a mouth-watering encounter as the All Blacks and Springboks square off in Yokohama at 11:45 SA time.
The loser of that blockbuster is likely to face the winner of the Ireland v Scotland Pool A clash, in the quarter-finals.
The final is scheduled for Saturday, November 2.
Rugby World Cup 2019 pools:
Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia, Samoa
New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada
England, France, Argentina, USA, Tonga
Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Uruguay
Springboks’ 2019 Rugby World Cup match schedule (SA times):
Saturday, September 21: South Africa v New Zealand, International Stadium – Yokohama (11:45)
Saturday, September 28: South Africa v Namibia, City of Toyota Stadium – Aichi (11:45)
Friday, October 4: South Africa v Italy, Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa – Shizuoka (11:45)
Tuesday, October 8: South Africa v Canada, Kobe Misaki Stadium – Kobe (12:15)