Rugby: Back-to-back-to-back for ABs?

The All Blacks are hot favourites to repeat their success at the 2019 World Cup. Photo / Brett Phibbs
The All Blacks are hot favourites to repeat their success at the 2019 World Cup. Photo / Brett Phibbs

The All Blacks are already red hot favourites to win the 2019 World Cup in the eyes of overseas bookmakers despite the retirement of great players and likely departure of coach Steve Hansen after next year's Lions tour.

Betfair has the All Blacks at 6/5 and William Hill quotes them at a similar 2/1. Australia (4/1), South Africa (13/2) and England (10/1) trail well behind.

New Zealand TAB bookie Mark Stafford says the All Blacks will always be World Cup favourites. They opened at about $2.50 two years out from their 2015 triumph, and gradually shortened to around $2.

Stafford said they were seen as such a strong team that coaching and player changes caused only minor betting market fluctuations.

He believes there will be very little change in the odds as the 2019 Japan tournament draws near, predicting that England is the only team whose price might change significantly "if they do something amazing".

New Zealand punters would have little interest in the 2019 tournament yet, although there were special times when they liked to look ahead.

"There is a limit to how long an option can be in our system and it won't allow it four years ahead," said Stafford.

"We do find that after the day of the NRL grand final, people want to bet on next year's winner. They have an opinion straight after the game but then the interest will drop off after that."

When asked about this year's tests, Stafford said Ma'a Nonu's retirement would be the potential odds-changer He believed the All Blacks could easily cover for the departure of the other veteran players including Richie McCaw. The Wallabies also seemed to be on an "upward curve".

"Nonu has been phenomenal and there isn't an obvious replacement," said Stafford.

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