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Rugby World Cup permutations: Wales seal quarter-final spot but rivals face tense finale

The battle for quarter-final places at the Rugby World Cup is heating up with some crucial fixtures coming up across the four pools.

Wales were the first team to claim their place in the knockout stage thanks to a magnificent 40-6 victory over Australia on Sunday, and the Pool C leaders are now 22/1 to be crowned world champions.

However, there are some heavy hitters ahead of the Welsh in the betting with 3/1 shots South Africa and 3/1 Ireland bidding to nail down their spots in the last eight along with tournament hosts France at 7/2 and New Zealand at 4/1.

What2023 Rugby World Cup
WhenFriday 8th September - Saturday 28th October 2023
How to watchITV
OddsSouth Africa 3/1, Ireland 3/1, France 7/2, New Zealand 4/1, England 10/1

Pool A

TeamPlayedWonLostDrawPoints DiffBonusPts
New Zealand21105415

Remaining fixtures:
29th September - New Zealand v Italy
5th October - New Zealand v Uruguay
6th October - France v Italy

Italy could be the kingmakers in Pool A as they face hosts France and the mighty All Blacks in their final two pool games.

France are in a powerful position after their opening 27-13 victory over New Zealand, and if they beat Italy on 6th October they will qualify as pool winners.

Before that match, though, Italy take on New Zealand and a defeat for the All Blacks would see them eliminated in the group stage for the first time in their history.

However, Italy are 16/1 to reach the quarter-finals while New Zealand are 1/40, so it would be a huge shock if the giants of world rugby crashed out.

Victories over Italy and Uruguay should take New Zealand through to the quarter-finals, although the Uruguayans could still finish level on 10 points with Italy and the All Blacks if they manage a bonus-point win in their last fixture.

Namibia, who were thumped 96-0 by France and lost 36-26 to Uruguay last time out, cannot reach the knockout stages.

Pool B

TeamPlayedWonLostDrawPoints DiffBonusPts
South Africa321086210

Remaining fixtures:
30th September - Scotland v Romania
1st October - South Africa v Tonga
7th October - Ireland v Scotland
8th October - Tonga v Romania

Ireland are in pole position in Pool B and they will finish top as long as they avoid defeat to Scotland in their final game.

South Africa need a bonus-point win over Tonga to pile the pressure on Scotland, who could otherwise overtake the Springboks if they win their last two matches with bonus points.

Defending champions South Africa are 1/10 to make the quarter-finals, with the Scots 6/1 and Tonga 100/1.

Even if Scotland take a maximum haul of 10 points from their games against Romania and Ireland they would not be guaranteed a quarter-final place.

If the Scots, Ireland and South Africa all end up level on 14 or 15 points then their head-to-head record would also be level, so points difference would determine the two qualifiers.

Pool C

TeamPlayedWonLostDrawPoints DiffBonusPts

Remaining fixtures:
30th September - Fiji v Georgia
1st October - Australia v Portugal
7th October - Wales v Georgia
8th October - Fiji v Portugal

Wales will finish top of Pool C as long as they win, draw or lose with two bonus points in their final fixture against Georgia on 7th October.

Fiji's 22-15 win over Australia in Saint-Etienne means they hold the aces in the battle for the second spot and victories over Georgia and Portugal would take them into the quarter-finals.

Australia must thump Portugal and hope for a slip-up from Fiji, but Eddie Jones' men are 33/1 to make the last eight with Portugal and Georgia even less likely to qualify at 250/1.

Pool D

TeamPlayedWonLostDrawPoints DiffBonusPts

Remaining fixtures:
28th September: Japan v Samoa
30th September: Argentina v Chile
7th October: England v Samoa
8th October: Japan v Argentina

England have made light work of Pool D and they simply need to avoid defeat against Samoa in their final game to progress as section winners.

Chile are out of the running, but either Japan and Samoa can secure qualification if they sign off with back-to-back bonus-point wins.

However, Argentina are lurking just one point behind those two sides and they are 1/10 to make it to the last eight, with Samoa 6/1 and Japan 14/1.

The Pumas finish their Pool D campaign with winnable fixtures against Chile and Japan, and their 19-10 victory over Samoa means they would progress on head-to-head record if they finish level on points with the Samoans.

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