My tip for this year’s world cup is South Africa.
Having just destroyed England (albeit a hugely understrength England) in the 2-match series, confidence will be running high going into the Tri-Nations. Moreover, two South African teams reached the final of this season’s Super 14 competition for the first time ever, giving coach Jake White a wealth of talent to choose from.
The strength in depth is notable, particularly in the back row where Schalk Burger, Juan Smith and Pierre Spies are world class, but being pushed for their place by the likes of Bob Skinstad, Joe van Niekirk and AJ Venter.
If they can beat the All Blacks when they play at home, as they have done on a number of occasions, they will prove to themselves that they are capable of beating the best and lifting the Web Ellis Cup.
The best odds I could find were 13/2 at BetFred, but if South Africa win the Tri-Nations the odds will shorten significantly.