This weekend’s predictions

Date published: September 4 2015

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It's that time of the week when we put our heads on the chopping block to bring you Planet Rugby's predictions.

The World Cup is almost here and this weekend is the last opportunity for players to thrust their name into their respective coach's XV plans.

Big international games take place in Twickenham, Chicago, Cardiff and Paris while there is also the first round of the PRO12 to go with the Top 14, ITM Cup and Currie Cup.

Paddy Power's rugby betting markets have it all covered to let's see where extra cash can be made.

Internationals

England v Ireland

Both these sides enter this game on the back of respective losses to France and Wales and it's England who are the bookies favourites at 2/5. Ireland can be taken at 15/8 which we think are good odds for a strong-looking side, with the safer option of course their plus 6 head-start.

Those tempted by England to get a home win before the World Cup might be best to take them by 1-5 points (9/2) as if they were to come out on top, it's difficult to see them putting Ireland out of sight in a game that promises to be tight from start to finish. Ireland 1-5 is at 6/1.

Wales v Italy

No prizes for guessing who are heavy favourites here with Wales 1/33 to win and -22 on the handicap. At a push we'd opt for them beating that.

Instead we focus on the anytime try-scorer option where Rhys Webb (7/5) and Scott Williams (9/5) are our picks. Those keen to get on wing duo Alex Cuthbert and George North will get prices of 11/10 and 5/6 respectively, which aren't too bad considering the Azzurri's recent horror showing at Murrayfield.

France v Scotland

France are given -11 against a Scotland side high on confidence and playing on a pitch that should make for a stop-start game. Therefore we go for the Scots on the handicap and if you fancy a shock win you can get Vern Cotter's side to win by 1-5 points at 17/2. Just to win is at 7/2.

Scotland's last two Paris visits has seen them lose by seven points so if you fancy history to repeat itself then a France win by 6-10 is 4/1.

PRO12

It's a new season and with World Cup absentees to think of, if anything the excitement increases as Glasgow look to defend their first title.

Connacht v Dragons: Connacht by 10
Ulster v Ospreys: Ulster by 15
Edinburgh v Leinster: Edinburgh by 5

Currie Cup

Blue Bulls v Free State Cheetahs:
This match should be closer than the previous encounter between these sides, the Bulls will still be victorious for the fifth time this season. Bulls by 10.

Western Province v Griquas
The home side should take this one quite easily as Griquas are battling. WP by 15.

Golden Lions v EP Kings
The Lions are on a high and shouldn't have any trouble in seeing off their weakened visitors. Lions by 35!

Sharks v Pumas
Although the Sharks are yet to convince after two victories, home ground advantage will prove decisive in a close encounter. Sharks by 3

Top 14

Oyonnax v Clermont: Clermont by 5
Grenoble v Pau: Grenoble by 9
La Rochelle v Brive: La Rochelle by 6
Agen v Racing 92: Agen by 2
Toulouse v Castres: Toulouse by 5
Bordeaux-Bègles v Montpellier: Bordeaux by 6
Stade Français v Toulon: Stade Français by 5

 

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