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The eighth edition of the Women’s Rugby World Cup commences this Wednesday, August 9 in Dublin, Ireland. Per usual, twelve teams will compete in three pools of four teams each. The winner of each pool and the second-place pool finisher with the highest pool points (not scoring totals) will advance to the semi-final round.

In the eight previous finals, England have played in six, New Zealand four, the USA three, and Canada in one. France have finished third five times. Data follow:

Year    Gold                Silver              Bronze        

1991    USA - 19         England -6       France

1994    England -38     USA – 23        France

1998    NZ – 44           USA – 12        England

2002    NZ – 19           England – 9     France

2006    NZ – 25           England – 17   France

2010    NZ – 13           England – 10   Australia

2014    England 21      Canada – 9      France

In 2014, Ireland upset the Black Ferns in pool play, which prevented New Zealand from moving into the semis as England and Canada tied in their pool game, generating two points each for the draw.

Betting Odds

The betting parlors in the United Kingdom include the WRWC in their offerings. Currently, the odds on who will win the event are:

Team               Odds

England             8/11

New Zealand   13/8

Canada               12/1

France                 20/1

Ireland                33/1

Australia             40/1

USA                      66/1

Wales                150/1

Italy                    500/1

Japan                 500/1

Spain                  750/1

Hong Kong      1000/1

England are the favorites because they were undfeated at 5-0 in 2017's Six Nations tournament. In addition, they defeated the Black Ferns earlier this summer in New Zealand. Finally, the Red Roses will have many thousands of ardent fans crossing the Irish Sea to view the tournament in Dublin and Belfast.

A long shot bet would be Ireland, which went 4-1 in the last year's Six Nations, losing only to England. Playing in front of the home crowd could provide that added boost.