Betting on Rugby Union
Bigger TV sponsorship deals and a growing international market combined has created massive global interest, and has invariably led to a huge desire to bet on rugby union. Competitions, domestic and international run pretty much all-year round, which keeps the markets busy, with more and more punters taking advantage of live in-play odds, tournament outrights etc. However, it seems that more often than not there are a lot of shorter priced favourites, so outright winners might not be where the real money is. It's probably worth checking out rugby union handicap betting, where your chances of winning more cash is greatly increased, because the odds are predominantly offered to level up the market (normally the 'smaller' teams don't win so often). Thus a selection deemed inferior to the opposition team has a greater chance of winning the said rugby match.
Rugby Union International Competitions
Major international competitions are the Rugby Union World Cup, the Lions rugby union tour, the RBS Six Nations Rugby Championship and The Rugby Championship, which is held in Europe and the Southern Hemisphere respectively.
Six Nations Rugby Championship
This annual rugby union tournament features six of the best European teams, which includes Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy, with Wales Six Nations 2013 champions. The next tournament is the RBS 6 Nations Rugby 2014 and the Six Nations fixtures have already been drawn with Wales kicking off their 6 Nations rugby title defence against Italy.
Rugby Union World Cup
The Rugby Union World Cup is contested every four years between 20 teams and is hosted by winning bid nations in the north and southern hemisphere.
The last Rugby Union World Cup 2011 was won by New Zealand rugby against France in the final. The next Rugby Union World Cup 2015 will be hosted by England with the final venue at Twickenham in London. The first rugby world cup was hosted in 1987 and the winning team every time since is awarded the coveted William Webb Ellis Cup.
The Rugby Championship
The Rugby Championship is a re-incarnation of the Tri-Nations rugby tournament with the 2012 Rugby Championship being the inaugural re-launch of the series, featuring the southern hemisphere's four best teams, New Zealand rugby, Australia rugby, South Africa rugby and Argentina rugby unions.
The 2013 Rugby Championship in August will be hotly contested by current holders and rugby World Cup champions New Zealand rugby union.
Lions Rugby Union Tour
The Lions rugby union (or alternatively known as the British & Irish Lions) is a team made up of the best players from the British and Irish regional rugby clubs. The tour takes place every 4 years against competing southern hemisphere teams such as Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. The 2013 Lions tour saw the side beat Australia 2-1 to clinch the series.
Rugby Union Domestic Competitions
In the UK, the top rugby union leagues are Aviva Premiership rugby and RaboDirect Pro12 rugby, both leagues respectively host teams from the UK, Ireland and Italy.
The biggest rugby union league, with the most financial clout and sponsorship backing from television companies such as Sky Sports is the French Top 14 rugby.
Super 15 rugby is the southern hemisphere's biggest and pre-eminent rugby union league made up of 15 clubs from 3 countries, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
The Heineken Cup is the biggest domestic competition, pitting Europe's best club sides against each other for the highly coveted prize. The Heineken Cup final 2014 will take place in Cardiff, Wales.
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