The World Cup Rugby Sevens starts this weekend, and after Rugby 7s’ roaring Olympic success, it is primed to be a fantastic tournament by the bay at AT&T Park, San Francisco.
Some of the biggest names on the 7s circuit will be hoping to have their hands on the trophy, and Grosvenor’s rugby expert brings you the best odds ahead of this year’s edition.
New Zealand is a name synonymous with rugby success, and 7s is no different. As a side that regularly wins 7s series across the globe, the current holders have a team mixed with experience and raw talent, and it wouldn’t surprise many to see them go far in the tournament. Lots of expectation will be on old heads Tim Mikkelsen and Scott Curry to carry a youthful team, but if they can navigate the all-knockout tournament safely, a potential champions-elect semi-final against Fiji could decide the winner. New Zealand can be backed at 7/1.
The Fijian 7s outfit is one of the greatest sports teams on the planet and go into this World Cup as odds on favourites at 10/11. With huge amounts of pedigree all over the pitch, Fiji can also rely on 15s stars Josua Tuisova, Leone Nakarawa and Semi Radrada to carve defences apart. Possibly the only obstacle to this Fijian team is their own inconsistency, but expect them to be heavily in the mix come the latter stages of the competition.
The US go into this tournament quietly confident. With the added bonus of home advantage, they will hope to excite locals with a scintillating brand of rugby. Boasting excellent kick off retention due to halfback Folau Niua being adept at kicking off both feet, speedsters Perry Baker and Carlin Isles will get plenty of 1v1 opportunities in space, and are always a threat to go the distance. Fresh off the back of winning the 2018 USA Sevens, the hosts could go and win the big one this year, and are my pick at great value of 11/1.
Will rugby come home?
England have always been in the trophy conversation when it comes to big tournaments but rarely deliver on the promise. This could be all change this year with young talent coming through and showing real resolve to come back from some disappointing displays on the Sevens circuit. With stalwarts Phil Burgess, James Rodwell and Dan Norton guiding an exciting crop of talent, England have a chance to go far in the tournament, and in 7s anything can happen. England to win their first 7s World Cup since the inaugural tournament is 20/1 with Grosvenor Sport.
Women’s World Cup
The Women’s World Cup will happen simultaneously, and expect to see the New Zealand Women, led by all-star Portia Woodman, retain their trophy and power through the competition on their way to a comprehensive win. NZ women can be backed at 4/9.