Read on for all of the information you are looking for in terms of your Ireland rugby union betting needs. Our detailed rugby union page includes the best betting sites for rugby union, great betting tips and much more!

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We’ll start from the most popular rugby union leagues and explain them all step by step.

The Six Nations Championship

One of the best-known sporting competitions anywhere in the world, the Six Nations Championship is arguably the most popular rugby event in Ireland and is certainly the event that gets the most attention in turns of rugby union betting in Ireland. Featuring Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, France and Italy, and taking place in the spring, this tournament usually marks the end of winter for Irish sports fans and sees fans pack pubs round the country to see their team take on close European rivals. With plenty of history between the teams, this is always a brilliant watch and an event that Ireland has done well in recent years. Can coach Andy Farrell continue the success for Ireland in this tournament as a resurgent France make a dash for the crown?

Guinness Pro14

The Pro 14 is the premier domestic club competition for teams in Ireland. However, in the event, teams from Wales, Scotland and Italy also compete. For fans of the four Irish provinces – the biggest teams in domestic Irish rugby – this is the bread and butter event. See Leinster, Munster, Ulster and Connacht take on the likes of Glasgow Warriors, Edinburgh, Ospreys and Cardiff Blues in an event that culminates in a Grand Final. Irish clubs have been dominant in recent years, so roar on your favourite team and enjoy all the betting markets at your disposal for this event.

Heineken Champions Cup

The Champions Cup is the rugby version of the Champions League as the top teams from all over Europe go head to head in this showpiece event. The event starts with five pools of four teams featuring clubs who have qualified from the showpiece domestic leagues in Europe – the Pro14, Premiership Rugby and the French Top14. The top team from each pool progresses alongside the three best runners-up to enter a knockout phase, leading to the final. Historically teams from Ireland, France and England have dominated the event, with Ireland’s Leinster and France’s Toulouse proving to be the most successful clubs in the event’s history with four titles apiece.

Rugby World Cup

The pinnacle of the sport of rugby, the Rugby World Cup comes around every 4 years and is next set to be played in France in 2013. South Africa won the last tournament in Japan in 2019 – the country’s third success overall which ties the Springboks with New Zealand as the most successful rugby-playing nations. Irish bookmakers are already offering up markets for this showpiece international event and the pinnacle of rugby union betting.

Premiership Rugby

The top domestic league in England, Premiership Rugby features the likes of Saracens, Leicester, Bath and Wasps – all of the most recognisable teams in English rugby and the bedrock of the England national team. The top teams from this league also take on Ireland’s best in the Heineken Champions Cup.

The Rugby Championship

The Rugby Championship is the Six Nations of the southern hemisphere. In this event, rugby giants New Zeeland, Australia, South Africa and Argentina go head to head for international rugby supremacy. It’s always a classic tournament and one worth getting up early for to watch on television back in Ireland. All of the top bookmakers in Ireland will offer up plenty of opportunities for your rugby union betting.

Other events

As well as the main feature events that include the Ireland national teams and Irish clubs, there are a host of other tournaments that attract attention from Irish rugby union fans and bettors. The Top 14 in France is another huge domestic competition and features all of the French teams that Irish clubs compete against in the Heineken Champions Cup. Another big event is the Super 15 competition which sees the top teams from Australia and New Zealand go head-to-head in a continental-style event similar to Europe’s Champions Cup. With plenty more to bet on besides, it’s really worth downloading those betting apps to stay up to date with your rugby union betting.

 

Rugby Union Betting Tips

Betting on rugby union is a popular activity and it’s easy to do for the uninitiated. However, as with betting on any sport, there are certain things that you need to pay attention to. Here are our top tips for your rugby union betting:

  • Check the injury lists – Unsurprisingly, rugby is a sport in which players pick up plenty of injuries. It’s such a physical contest that players need time to recover and can’t play as frequently as say, football players can. For that reason, it’s really important to see what players are likely to be missing from lineups before you place a bet as missing star players can make a big difference.
  • Check the fixture lists – Because of the need to rest and rotate players, you must always keep an eye on teams’ fixture lists to determine what kind of team the coach will put out on any given day. For example, if you are looking to bet on Munster or Leinster in the Pro14, check there isn’t a big Champions Cup encounter upcoming which will mean a hoist of star players missing from the teamsheet. This will often lead to ‘upsets’ and so protect your stake by doing your research first.
  • International players are unavailable – When the Six Nations Championship is on, those international players are unavailable for selection for their clubs. It’s not like in soccer when there is an international break so club teams stop playing. So you can imagine that those clubs which provide the bulk of the international team squads suffer greatly in this time. So don’t just look at the names of the teams and pick based on who is higher on the table or traditionally more successful. Once again, see which players may be missing due to international commitments and let that inform your rugby union betting.
  • Search through the markets – Unlike in soccer, the match odds market in rugby is not usually the most popular to play because there are so many competing factors in a game of rugby. Plus, there are more points to be scored. Points markets are well worth digging into and can offer up decent returns for astute bettors.

Rugby Union Bet Types and Markets

Just like any sport, there are a number of popular bet types and markets in rugby union that punters like to select between. Here are some of the most popular markets to choose from.

  • Match odds – Quite simply, who will win the game. Unlike in soccer, draws are few and far between in rugby (with the odds to match) so this is usually a straight-up choice (sometimes called a ‘head to head’ when the draw is removed from the table). For that reason, returns are not always great, but this market offers a simple entry to the world of rugby union betting.
  • Handicap markets – With one team often heavily fancied over another, for various reasons, the handicap markets are incredibly popular when betting on rugby union. Quite simply handicap points scores are assigned to the teams and you select who will win or lose based on the handicap of your choice (for example, Ireland -22, meaning that Ireland must win by 23 points for you to claim the bet). A variation of the theme is half-time handicap betting, which only takes into account the score at half time.
  • First tryscorer – Much like the incredibly popular ‘first goalscorer’ market in soccer, here you select who you think will be the first player to touch down over the white line. Variations of this theme include ‘anytime tryscorer’ and ‘last tryscorer’.
  • Winning margin – As the name would suggest, you bet on what you think the winning margin will be for your team of choice. The spreads are given, so you could select Ireland to win 1-5, meaning that you are backing Ireland to win but only by up to 5 points.

Ireland at the Rugby World Cup

Unfortunately, as Ireland rugby union fans will be all too aware, the country’s team hasn’t enjoyed much success at the Rugby World Cup, despite plenty of promise and expectation. The 2019 tournament was a perfect example as Ireland actually entered the tournament in Japan as one of the favourites after claiming the Six Nations Grand Slam just the year before – the same year as defeating world champions New Zealand.

But, alas, it wasn’t to be for Joe Schmidt’s team. Hosts Japan caused an all-mighty shock by defeating Ireland 19-12 in the Group Stages and that meant that the Irish had to face the ominous All Blacks in the quarter-final. But this was a team that Ireland had vanquished just a year before in a famous win at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin which came two years after Ireland’s very first win over New Zealand – a classic 40-29 victory in the unfamiliar surroundings of Chicago. But in this Rugby World Cup encounter, the All Blacks dominated Joe Schmidt’s men, running out 46-14 winners. Ireland have still never progressed beyond the quarter-finals of a Rugby World Cup, which is an underachievement for such a proud rugby-playing nation.

But in the Six Nations, it’s been a different story. Ireland’s Grand Slam success in 2018 was the country’s third Grand Slam and the nation’s 14th overall win in the competition. As the bread and butter of international rugby in Europe, that represents a fine return for Ireland and the event remains one of the main rugby union betting focuses for Irish punters.

Rugby Union World Cup 2023

With annual international tournaments such as the Six Nations and the Rugby Championship to look forward to, and of course club rugby including the Heineken Champions Cup, there’s always interest for your rugby union betting. But the pinnacle of the spot is always the Rugby Union World Cup, and this is the event that international coaches build towards.

The next instalment of the main event will take place in France in September and October 2023 and excitement was heightened back in December 2020 when the draw was made in Paris for the group stages. As well as the 12 top-ranked international teams, eight more teams are to be added at the 20-nation event. Here are the groups:

Group A
Group B
Group C
Group D
New Zealand
South Africa
Wales
England
France
Ireland
Australia
Japan
Italy
Scotland
Fiji
Argentina
Americas 1
Asia/Pacific 1
Europe 1
Oceania 1
Africa 1
Europe 2
Final Qualifier Winner
Americas 2

With some eye-popping contests set to take place in the Group Stages, interest for the event is building and all main betting sites are now offering up odds for the event, including outright winner. Will South Africa reclaim the title they won in 2019? Can hosts France win the tournament for the first time or will the New Zealand All Blacks restate their authority on a sport for which they are synonymous?

The Final Word on Rugby Union

As one of the most popular spots to participate in and watch in Ireland, you can be sure that all of the best betting sites will offer up plentiful rugby union betting opportunities. With multiple markets to choose from and always another match around the corner, it’s really no surprise that rugby union continues to be one of the betting highlights of any major sportsbook. Whether it’s club or international rugby, keep you eye on the ball and enjoy all the opportunities available for your rugby union betting.

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