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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Plucky Canucks lively outsiders to rule in Emerald Isle

Bookmakers reckon England have only New Zealand to beat

England captain Sarah Hunter will hope to lift the World Cup
1 of 1

England v Spain
ITV4, 2pm Wednesday

Ireland v Australia
ITV4 & RTE2, 7pm Wednesday

Bookmakers expect England to put the recent uproar over the RFU's upcoming switch to full-time Sevens contracts behind them and retain the women's World Cup that starts in Ireland on Wednesday.

The Red Roses, who surged to a Six Nations Grand Slam in the spring, are 4-5 favourites, with New Zealand considered their only serious market challengers at 13-8.

However, Canada, runners-up three years ago, may be lively outsiders at 14-1. The Canucks drew with England in their 2014 pool before losing the showpiece showdown 21-9 and have beaten all opponents bar the Black Ferns at some point since.

Bronze medallists and 2016 Six Nations slammers France are 33-1 while Ireland, who beat New Zealand in their 2014 pool and were 2015 Six Nations winners but lost skipper Niamh Briggs to injury last month, are 40-1. Australia are 50-1, USA 80-1 while Wales are 200-1 pokes.

There are three groups of four and the winners and the best runners-up go through to the semi-finals. Canada are in Pool A with New Zealand and Wales. The Eagles are England's rivals in Pool B. Les Bleues, Australia and Ireland are the Pool C forces.

The schedule for pool matches is today, Sunday and next Thursday.

Canada to win women’s World Cup
1pt 14-1 general

Canada drew with England in their 2014 pool before losing the showpiece showdown 21-9
E.W. Terms
Sky bet