Commercial Content | 18+ | T&C's Apply
Commercial Content | 18+ | T&C's Apply

England v Australia Tips

ITV1 Saturday 3rd October / 8pm

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Australia1X25/4Paddy Power, Ladbrokes
David PocockFirst Tryscorer16/1Paddy Power
Ben MorganFirst Tryscorer25/1Sky Bet

England are the 5/6 favourites to secure a vital rugby union World Cup victory over Australia when the two sides meet in their Pool A clash at Twickenham on Saturday night. Some firms go 4/6 about the hosts in the match result betting, but Bet365 are sticking their necks out with that headline quote.

Australia, who have been improving steadily under the guidance of Michael Cheika, can be backed at best odds of 5/4, while the draw is a best price of 25/1 with Coral.

Recent history in this fixture favours England, who have won four of the last five meetings including each of the last three at Twickenham, by nine, seven and 17 point margins. The key to England’s success over the last few years has been the strength of their forwards and they still hold the advantage in that area, with Australia suffering in the scrum in those three defeats in London.

To counter that argument, England have not been as dominant in the set-piece in recent games while Australia, who possess plenty of threat in their backline, have restructured their forwards and will field a line-up which is new to England under Stuart Lancaster.

England’s form in 2015 has been better than in 2014, but they have arguably lost their two biggest matches of the year, last weekend’s defeat to Wales and the RBS 6 Nations game against eventual champions Ireland in Dublin. Looking back over the last 16 months, England have lost nine of their last 18 internationals.

In the same period, Australia have lost eight times, but they were successful in the recent southern hemisphere Rugby Championship, a title which was secured with a 27-19 home win over world champions New Zealand. They didn’t fare well in Europe on their last visit, however, losing to France, Ireland and England last November after a narrow win over Wales in their tour opener.

The pressure on England is intensified by that loss against an injury-hit Wales, with only two of three powerhouses in this pool progressing to the quarter-finals. The Welsh are now in pole position and if England lose to Australia their tournament will be over. The Wallabies know they will get a second chance if they lose this one when they face Wales at Twickenham a week on Saturday.

While England played a gruelling match here last Saturday, Australia’s back-up players secured a convincing win over Uruguay on Sunday. Cheika has made 14 changes to his starting line-up for this one, reverting to the same XV which began the opening victory over Fiji, with no fresh injury concerns to contend with.

The handicap betting highlights just how close the bookmakers think this match will be and how far Australia have come in the last 10 months since their 26-17 defeat here, with the majority of firms offering a two-point line. Bet365, William Hill and Coral are all quoting Even money for either side – England -2 or Australia +2, while Betfred set the line at three points and are offering odds of 10/11 on either side.

Australia’s freshness could be a decisive factor, coupled with the overwhelming pressure on an England side who struggled to justify their billing as second favourites for the tournament in the build-up, most notably in a poor performance against France in Paris. Backing Australia with a three-point start is one option, but the bolder strategy of backing them to win could pay dividends.

Three of England’s last four tries against Australia (all at Twickenham) have been scored by forwards, with Ben Morgan scoring two tries in the November Test and Chris Robshaw going over the line the previous year.

Morgan returns to the side to replace the injured Billy Vunipola (who scored a try against Fiji) at No 8 and can be backed at 25/1 with Sky Bet to score the first try.

His opposite number for Australia is David Pocock, who scored Australia’s first two tries against Fiji at the Millennium Stadium – and he is 16/1 with Paddy Power.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Australia1X25/4Paddy Power, Ladbrokes
David PocockFirst Tryscorer16/1Paddy Power
Ben MorganFirst Tryscorer25/1Sky Bet