Dream Team Winner 2014/15

George Watley’s side ‘Build Your Skills’ has much to thank Oliver Giroud’s last second goal in the FA Cup final! The £200,000 top prize in Dream Team landed in George’s lap due to substitute Giroud’s very late 5 points. Watley’s final team consisted of:

Goalkeeper – Pantilimon. Defenders – Ivanovic, Monreal, Jagielka, Bellerin. Midfielders – Hazard, Coutinho, Sterling. Forwards – Giroud, Sanchez, Kane.

The final overall table was:

Pos Manager Team Name Pts
1 George Watley Build Your Skills 2049
2 victor vassallo rabatmalta1 2046
3 Stuart Monticelli monty 6 2033
4 JAYNE BYROM 3SEVEN 2029
5 jamie baird heyho! 2025
6 craig harding ole spurs 2012
7 Mark St-Claire Chelsea 2004
8 Sam Astley Im Ric Flair Bh 2001
9 Gary Combs Madison Wonderland 1 1986
9 Anthony Silk Bale-out FC 1986

Dream Team is the richest fantasy football game in the UK with low stakes risked for potential very high winnings. Online gaming such as fantasy football is very popular as are online casinos. Here is one such casino company where you can have a 100% first deposit bonus – Netbet online casino.

Dream Team are already planning their 2015/16 game which will be launched in early July 2015 and have promised some major changes!

Winner of Telegraph Fantasy Football 2014/15

The overall champion, 32-year-old Jonathan Worsley from London, won £35,000 in Telegraph Fantasy Football 2014/15 having pipped his nearest rival by just six points thanks to Giroud’s last minute goal for Arsenal in the FA Cup Final.

The final top 20 leaderboard was:

Position Manager Team Name Points
1 Jonathan Worsley THE PROTA HAT-TRICK 1951
2 Stuart Ross Released on Bale 1945
3 Simon Allen Ildira 1938
4 Thomas Lovell Fixture Picks 1936
5 Richard Leishman Bluemoonery 1934
6 Jack Palmer Rum Ham United 1929
7 Lee Fricker C Kent 5 1925
8 Lee Fricker Superman 4 1924
8 Simon Allen Mistborn 1924
10 Robin Pearce Nice to Michu 1921
11 Andrew Luckhurst 5 1914
12 Ted Bradshaw Big Tens Tickles 1912
13 Ahmad Abdul Ghani 19 1911
14 Greg Nottage West Sham United 1910
15 David Bartram Winter Is Coming 1909
15 Andrew Luckhurst 3 1909
17 Jeremy Rowe Have it 1908
18 Graham Dolan Ornans 1906
19 Darren Yates Slip Hazard 1905
19 Ian Mackeith Hawthorn Saints 1905

A full breakdown of Jonathan Worsley’s winning team, The Prota Hat-Trick, from day one is below (he entered 2 teams) and you can also read this interview with him on The Telegraph website:

STARTING XI

(3-4-3)

Goalkeeper: Fabianski

Defenders: Shawcross, Debuchy, Lovren

Midfield: Mata, Hazard, Ramsey, Sterling, Lamela

Strikers: Rooney, Costa

TRANSFER HISTORY

13/09/2014 – OUT / IN

Mata, J (Midfielder) / Pelle, G (Striker)

20/09/2014 – OUT / IN

Debuchy, M (Defender) / Bertrand, R (Defender)

27/09/2014 – OUT / IN

Lamela, E (Midfielder) / Tadic, D (Midfielder)

04/10/2014 – OUT / IN

Rooney, W (Striker) / Aguero, S (Striker)

05/10/2014 – OUT / IN

Shawcross, R (Defender) / Baines, L (Defender)

Ramsey, A (Midfielder) / McGeady, A (Midfielder)

19/10/2014 – OUT / IN

McGeady, A (Midfielder) / Sigurdsson, G (Midfielder)

08/11/2014/12 – OUT / IN

Lovren, D (Defender) / Cresswell, A (Defender)

Sterling, R (Midfielder) / di Maria, A (Midfielder)

30/11/2014- OUT / IN

di Maria, A (Midfielder) / Eriksen, C (Midfielder)

02/12/2014 – OUT / IN

Pelle, G (Striker) / Bony, W (Striker)

03/12/2014 – OUT / IN

Tadic, D (Midfielder) / Mirallas, K (Midfielder)

13/12/2014 – OUT / IN

Aguero, S (Striker) / Dzeko, E (Striker)

13/12/2014 – OUT / IN

Sigurdsson, G (Midfielder) / Nasri, S (Midfielder)

15/12/2014 – OUT / IN

Dzeko, E (Striker) / Lukaku, R (Striker)

29/12/2014 – OUT / IN

Lukaku, R (Striker) / Sterling, R (Midfielder)

03/01/2015 – OUT / IN

Bony, W (Striker) / Berahino, S (Striker)

19/01/2015 – OUT / IN

Fabianski, L (Goalkeeper) / Foster, B (Goalkeeper)

Nasri, S (Midfielder) / Wisdom, A (Defender)

31/01/2015 – OUT / IN

Costa, D (Striker) / di Maria, A (Midfielder)

01/02/2015- OUT / IN

Baines, L (Defender) / Cazorla, S (Midfielder)

Mirallas, K (Midfielder) / Giroud, O (Striker)

03/02/2015 – OUT / IN

Bertrand, R (Defender) / van Aanholt, P (Defender)

21/02/2015 – OUT / IN

Wisdom, A (Defender) / Zouma, K (Defender)

Eriksen, C (Midfielder) / Aguero, S (Striker)

14/03/2015 – OUT / IN

di Maria, A (Midfielder) / Silva, D (Midfielder)

15/03/2015 – OUT / IN

Berahino, S (Striker) / Kane, H (Striker)

21/03/2015 – OUT / IN

Foster, B (Goalkeeper) / Forster, F (Goalkeeper)

04/04/2015 – OUT / IN

Forster, F (Goalkeeper) / Ospina, D (Goalkeeper)

17/05/2015 – OUT / IN

Sterling, R (Midfielder) / Koscielny, L (Defender)

PLAYER CONTRIBUTIONS:

FINAL XI

Ospina – 28 points

Koscielny – 14

van Aanholt – 45

Zouma – 33

Cresswell – 104

Hazard 212

Cazorla – 81

Silva – 41

Aguero – 168

Giroud – 101

Kane – 47

TRANSFERRED-OUT

Goalkeepers:

Foster – 38

Fabianski – 57

Forster – 4

Defenders:

Baines – 65

Shawcross – 23

Debuchy – 10

Wisdom – 9

Bertrand – 90

Lovren – 22

Midfielders:

Mata – 11

Nasri – 26

Ramsey – 30

Sigurdsson – 32

Sterling – 126

Mirallas – 42

Lamela – 16

Eriksen – 60

McGeady – 2

Tadic – 41

di Maria – 41

Strikers:

Rooney – 29

Lukaku – 7

Dzeko – 0 (injured during warm-up!)

Bony – 30

Berahino – 77

Costa – 129

Pelle – 60

TOTAL: 1,951 POINTS

Players of TFF will also be interested to see that the top scoring valid team of the season (with no transfers) racked up 1,867 points between them at a combined TFF cost of £49.9m. The winner of the Starting XI prize was Kushagra Poonia on 1,666 points with a team called ‘Get Rekt’ about 200 points behind (2nd place was David Bartram on 1617 points) so you can see how difficult it is to get the right choice of players.

To get 1,867 points you have Simon Mignolet in goal as the top scoring shot-stopper with 135 points.

Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic and John Terry were well ahead of everybody else in defence and Ryan Bertrand was easily the top pound-for-pound player of the season scoring a whopping 53.3 points per £ million.

There’s no surprise to see Eden Hazard n midfield who scored a massive 42 points more than anyone else in midfield thanks to 14 goals and 23 key contributions from his 38 starting appearances. Joining him were Cazorla, Henderson and Chadli who would have been more difficult to pick at the start of the season. David Silva was just too expensive to make it in to a valid XI.

Up front, Sergio Aguero (219 points) held off the challenge of both Hazard and Alexis Sanchez (212 points apiece) to be crowned the best-scoring player in the game while Harry Kane and Saido Berahino both proved to be incredible value for money.

Telegraph Fantasy Racing – Ascot

horseracing

Royal Ascot is one of flat racing’s most prestigious events and takes place from June 16 to 20. You can now add to the excitement with the Telegraph’s Fantasy Ascot game for the chance to win £1,000!

Add to the drama of Royal Ascot next week by picking a FREE Telegraph Fantasy Racing stable for the chance to win a share of £1,900 in cash prizes.

Just select three jockeys and three trainers – and then pick one horse ahead of each race during the 5-day spectacular. Points and tables are updated after every race – so set up a league with a few friends and let the competition begin.

Register your free entry now, you can change it as much as you like right up to the scheduled start time of the first race (2.30pm on Tuesday, June 16).

Copa America 2015 – Live Streaming

The 2015 Copa America takes place in Chile and bet365’s customers can enjoy Live Streaming of the Copa America between now and the Final on 4 July. Their customers can truly enjoy the action, as the whole tournament is available on their Live Streaming Service (the only geo-blocking restrictions that apply are in the Americas). This provides bet365 customers with a chance to watch some of the biggest names in world football with the likes of Agüero, Sánchez, Lavezzi, Vidal, James, Di María and Cavani set to star. Neymar and Messi are the biggest attractions though – both players were instrumental as Barcelona completed the treble this year, and both are carrying the expectation of their nations into this summer’s tournament.

Argentina are currently priced at 15/8 (2.87) to lift the trophy, with Brazil at 10/3 (4.33). Next in the betting are hosts Chile at 4/1 (5.00), and Colombia at 13/2 (7.50). Both of these countries performed really well in last summer’s World Cup and will be looking to secure rare Copa America victories – Chile have never lifted the trophy and Colombia have only done so once.

As always bet365 will be offering an extensive range of pre-match and In-Play markets throughout the tournament. With their Bore Draw Money Back offer also available you can be sure to get great value during the competition. Place a pre-match bet on ANY of bet365‘s Correct Score, Half-Time/Full-Time or Scorecast markets for ANY Soccer match, and if the game finishes 0-0, your stake will be refunded if your bet loses. This offer will not apply where a stake has been fully Cashed Out. Where a stake has been partially Cashed Out, and the match finishes 0-0, only the remaining active stake will be refunded. A goalless draw can never be the worst result with bet365. Bet365 also have an Each-Way First Goalscorers offer. T&Cs apply to both offers.

More details including T&Cs:

Bore Draw Money Back

Don’t let a blank score sheet bore you again with our fantastic Bore Draw Money Back offer.

Place a pre-match bet on ANY of our Correct Score, Half-Time/Full-Time or Scorecast markets for ANY Soccer match, and if the game finishes 0-0, we will refund your stake if the bet loses.

This offer will not apply where a stake has been fully Cashed Out. Where a stake has been partially Cashed Out, and the match finishes 0-0, only the remaining active stake will be refunded.

A goalless draw can never be the worst result with bet365.

Terms and Conditions

1.In multiple bets the selection will be treated as a non-runner.

2.This offer is available pre-match on every game for Half Time/Full Time, all Correct Score and all Scorecast markets. If the game finishes 0-0, we will refund your stake if the bet loses.

3.This offer will not apply where a stake has been fully Cashed Out. Where a stake has been partially Cashed Out, and the match finishes 0-0, only the remaining active stake will be refunded.

4.Where any term of the offer or promotion is breached or there is any evidence of a series of bets placed by a customer or group of customers, which due to a deposit bonus, enhanced payments, free bets, risk free bets or any other promotional offer results in guaranteed customer profits irrespective of the outcome, whether individually or as part of a group, bet365 reserves the right to reclaim the bonus element of such offers and in their absolute discretion either settle bets at the correct odds, void the free and risk free bets or void any bet funded by the deposit bonus. In addition bet365 reserve the right to levy an administration charge on the customer up to the value of the deposit bonus, free bet, risk free bet or additional payment to cover administrative costs. We further reserve the right to ask any customer to provide sufficient documentation for us to be satisfied in our absolute discretion as to the customer’s identity prior to us crediting any bonus, free bet, risk free bet or offer to their account.

5.All bet365 offers are intended for recreational players and bet365 may in its sole discretion limit the eligibility of customers to participate in all or part of any promotion.

6.bet365 reserves the right to amend, cancel, reclaim or refuse any promotion at its own discretion.

Unlimited Places on First Scorer E/W Bets

Have an each-way First Goalscorer bet on any match, and be safe in the knowledge that if your player scores at any time during the game we will pay you out!

Each-way bets are settled on all goalscorers at 1/3 odds for unlimited places in 90 minutes play.

For full details on bet settlement please refer to our First Goalscorer rules.

Champions League Final

For the first time in Champions League history, both teams heading into the final are on course to win a league, domestic cup and Champions League treble with both The Old Lady and the Blaugrana cruising to victory in the Serie A & Coppa Italia and La Liga & Copa del Rey respectively. Both managers will be desperate to secure the biggest trophy in club football and prove their detractors wrong, with Massimiliano Allegri having been spurned by AC Milan in the past and Luis Enrique facing heavy criticism from Barca’s fans and the media this season.

Barca go into the match heavy favourites, and with good reason. Arguably one of the most prolific attacking trios in history will be bearing down on Juve; and Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez may just prove too much for the Turin outfit to handle. Barcelona are 8/13 (1.61) to win in regular time and 1/3 (1.33) to lift the trophy by any means necessary at bet365. The bianconeri on the other hand are 5/1 (6.00) to triumph in 90 minutes, and 12/5 (3.40) to take the trophy home with them.

bet365 are offering the ever-popular ‘Method of Victory’ market on the match and it has seen plenty of speculative backing from punters who believe the match will go the distance. Barcelona are 10/1 (11.00) to win in extra time and 14/1 (15.00) to secure a last gasp win through penalties. Juventus are also 14/1 (15.00) to secure victory through spot kicks, whilst they are 22/1 (23.00) to kill off the game in extra time.

Amidst the excitement for the game, players from both camps are making the headlines as the annual transfer speculation reaches fever pitch. 22 year old French wonder kid Paul Pogba is alleged to be on the verge of a move to Barcelona for a reported £70m and the Manchester United reject is undoubtedly one of the hottest properties in world football right now with Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid reportedly also interested in the midfielder. Pogba has a flair for the dramatic and has scored some spectacular goals this season, with no midfielder in Europe scoring more goals from outside the box than him. The young Frenchman is 16/1 (17.00) to score first, and 11/2 (6.50) to find the net anytime.

Barcelona legend Xavi will play his last ever match for Barcelona on Saturday and finishes his distinguished career as the most decorated player in Spanish football history regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s game thanks to the Catalonian giant’s triumphs in La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Regardless, the Spaniard will be desperate to end his career on a high and cement his place in perhaps the greatest team club football has ever seen. Arguably one of La Masia’s greatest successes, Xavi has been with the club since 11 and in the last quarter of a century has been a key figure in both Barcelona’s and Spain’s successes. The midfielder has been bidding an emotional farewell to the club in recent weeks and was yesterday brought to tears by a tribute from fellow midfielder Andres Iniesta, another player who will likely be considered one of the greatest in Spain’s history.

The majority of money in the goalscorer markets will of course be focused on Messi, Neymar and Suarez, the latter of which has been making the headlines as he prepares to face Patrice Evra, who he was alleged to have racially abused whilst playing at Liverpool, and Giorgio Chiellini, who he famously bit at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The Uruguayan powerhouse and talismanic Brazilian Neymar are both 5/1 (6.00) to score first and 8/5 (2.60) to score anytime.

Messi is 3/1 (4.00) to score first at bet365 and looks a great bet. Gigi Buffon said in an interview this week that the Argentine is ‘an alien that dedicates himself to playing with humans’ and the four-time Ballon d’Or winner is in the form of his life again in the wake of a disappointing 2013-14 campaign. A fourth Champions League trophy would surely propel Leo to become the world player of the year for the fifth time, and prise the title away from his fierce rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

For even more odds and a fantastic selection of markets, be sure to look for this fixture on bet365.com under Soccer > UEFA Champions League.

Arsenal to beat Aston Villa in 90mins – 6/1

FA Cup holders Arsenal take on Aston Villa this Saturday and will be looking for a record 12th victory of the title. Coral are offering new customers a fantastic 6/1 that they will be no upsets along the way and that Arsenal retain the FA Cup trophy, beating an out of form Aston Villa in 90minutes. Click here to access the offer.

Customers can qualify for this offer from 08:00am Thursday 28th May and 17:30 Saturday 30th May.

90 mins only – £5 bet  – Plus £20 free bet should your bet lose

Terms and Conditions
Open a new Coral account and bet on Arsenal to beat Aston Villa in the FA Cup Final in 90 minutes at odds of 6/1.
Offer available to UK & Republic of Ireland residents aged 18 years or over, opening an Online, Connect or Mobile Coral account in either £/€ currency through http://promotions.coral.co.uk/landing-pages/crazy-prices-online and http://promotions.coral.co.uk/landing-pages/crazy-prices , between 08:00BST Thursday 28th May and 17:30BST Saturday 30th May.
Accounts registered via any other source than mentioned do not qualify.
Place your FIRST real money bet as a win single of £/€5 on ‘Arsenal to beat Aston Villa – 6/1’ in our My Markets sections.
This offer is £/€5 bet only.
Should the bet lose, new customers will receive a free £20 bet in their account upon settlement of the market.
Applies to singles only, does not apply to multiple bets.
Applies to one bet per customer and one customer per household (IP address).
Coral Interactive reserves the right to withdraw this promotion at any stage.
Customers seen to be abusing this offer will be exempt from future Coral Interactive promotions.
Coral have the right to end this promotion at any time.
£/€20 free bet if the selection loses will be credited to your account within 48 hours of settlement (New Online Customers)

Why 2015/16 will be the breakthrough season for daily fantasy sports in UK

Marc Saba, co-founder and MD of fantasy football site FootballFanager.com on the upsurge in daily fantasy sports in the UK
Daily fantasy football is on the verge of a European breakthrough.

Football-Fanager-Marc-Saba

The boom in daily fantasy sports in the US has been slow to catch on across this side of the pond but, since we launched FootballFanager.com ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, we’ve seen interest in the format grow at an incredible rate.

Since the World Cup, we have quickly amassed 20,000 registered users taking part in free and paid-for daily leagues against peers and mates for cash and other prizes. As we look ahead to the 2015/16 season, we expect to see that growth continue.

The Premier League reports an annual global TV audience of 4.7 billion viewers. If UK fantasy sport sites such as ours can tap into just a tiny proportion of that number, then the format is destined for massive success.

In our early days, we attracted an initial 1,500 users within weeks, without any marketing to speak of. Imagine the opportunities when more people discover what Football Fanager is about, play against their friends and enjoy all the benefits that daily fantasy sport has to offer.

The ability to dip in and out of daily fantasy sports gives the casual fan an outlet to enjoy the managerial aspect of fantasy sports, without the season-long commitment. What’s more, with the opportunity to win cash every day, the appeal of sites such as ours is constantly growing. Add in the social element of a daily format and it’s easy to see why many are flocking to Football Fanager.

The growth of social networks puts daily fantasy sports in a strong position. Online gaming hasn’t really moved on in at least a decade. Daily fantasy football is the first of a new breed of games that tap into social connectivity in a big way, which will redefine the existing culture. Currently, fantasy sport is generally seen as an off-putting season long commitment.

Much of the current challenge for the operators is around awareness. In the US, huge corporations such as Disney and Comcast have seen the potential for daily fantasy sport and are pouring hundreds of millions of pounds into the industry for marketing, advertising and development.

While the UK market isn’t at that scale just yet, we’re now seeing more development and investment, with new competitors springing up constantly. It’s a young industry that is expanding fast and gaining more and more attention in the mainstream.

I believe that this August we’ll see a game-changing spike in the numbers of daily fantasy sport users. Traditionally, there are peaks in user numbers as the Premier League kicks off, which is unsurprising given that it’s a time when many fantasy sport fans prepare for a season-long tactical battle.

That start-of-season interest will permeate through to the daily fantasy sport market, just as it has done on a cumulative scale each passing year. We’re building a loyal user base that grows exponentially each month. It’s a low pressure, high entertainment formula that is catching the imagination of football fans across the UK. Now is the opportunity for daily fantasy sports move into the big time.

Paul O’Connell Collects yet Another Accolade and Reveals His Future Plans

It has been a positive few months for Ireland captain Paul O’Connell. The Lock has been aging like fine wine and it was confirmed by the IRUPA Players’ Player of the Year Award for the 2014/15 season. The playing career of O’Connell appeared to be finished a few years ago. Proper management has not only helped him extend his playing days, but it has also led him to this accolade. Yet, it is not surprising to know that O’Connell is close to ending his playing days irrespective of the success with club or national team in the next few weeks. O’Connell’s Munster are placed at EVENS in the Pro12 Grand Final odds by Betfair.

The influence of O’Connell upon Munster has only grown in the last decade. After having made his debut for the club in 2001, it did not take long for O’Connell to be amongst trophies. The league and the Celtic Cup were amongst the early titles that he received. Since then, however, several more have joined to the collection. He has been a dominant force in the Ireland national team by winning three Six Nations Championships and one Grand Slam. There has also been a European title along the way with Munster.

After having enjoyed a relatively injury free career until 2010, the 35-year-old has been ravaged by injuries in the last five years. In his own admission, he says that he never expected to carry on playing after 31 or 32. Yet, he is an example of proper management helping a player extend his career. O’Connell also believes that changing his attitude during and after the game has also helped him carry on playing. Compared with his early days, O’Connell says that he is now playing the game with much less pressure on his shoulders.

The calm and collected approach has been a key factor in Ireland getting back-to-back success in the Six Nations tournament. It could also be a defining factor in the upcoming World Cup 2015. Ireland will be aware that New Zealand are seen as the clear favourites to win the title by Betfair, who offer odds of 6/4 for the same. England come second at odds of 9/2, while South Africa and Ireland are not too far behind. Ireland are ranked just behind South Africa at odds of 7/1.

O’Connell has been able to take much of the pressure away from his game by focusing on each game as it comes. The Lock reveals that Ireland will be following a similar approach at the World Cup. Ireland are in the pool containing France, Canada, Italy, and Romania. They kick-off the tournament with a match against Canada at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The World Cup 2015 might be the last stage to witness O’Connell as a player. He has been heavily hinting in recent weeks that he may be hanging up his boots irrespective of the result at the World Cup. Aside from being in contention for the World Cup title, O’Connell will also be looking to win the Pro12 Grand Final.

Despite his age, Toulon are reportedly interested in signing him. Even though O’Connell still has a contract until 2016, it is largely thought that he will retire after the World Cup concludes. O’Connell says that the result of the World Cup or the Grand Final will not determine his retirement date. Instead, he will choose to hang up his boots whenever his body tells him to do. After having won numerous accolades as a player, O’Connell will be looking forward to a different career.

He will bow out at a time when Irish rugby has been going through a positive period. Aside from Leinster having reached the European semi-final this season, Irish rugby fans can also look forward to seeing the country host the upcoming 2017 women’s World Cup. Even though the Rugby Association will have to shell out a lot of money – around €2.5 million in order to make this a reality, O’Connell says that it will be immensely beneficial. Apart from winning the player’s Player of the Year title, the 35-year-old has also been named as the Supporters’ Player of the Year 2015.

The current positive trend may also help the country be successful in their bid to host the 2023 World Cup. Brian O’Driscoll has been named as the brand ambassador of the team that will be responsible for bringing the World Cup to Irish shores. O’Driscoll never won the World Cup as a player, but this represents a great opportunity for him to make an impact off the field. South Africa are seen as the biggest opposition for Ireland. O’Connell says that a successful women’s World Cup will lay a strong foundation for the men’s edition.

The Rugby Union World Cup 2015

Although it’s still a way off, many sporting enthusiasts are already looking forward to the top event in rugby later this year, the Rugby Union World Cup.

The great sporting event takes place every four years and pitches the world’s leading rugby union teams against each other in a gruelling knockout competition as the players aim for rugby immortality.

The main event

This year the Rugby Union World Cup returns to England where twenty teams will compete for the Webb Ellis Cup. The tournament will take place between 18 September and 31 October across a variety of top-class stadiums including the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Manchester City stadium, and of course, the home of English rugby, Twickenham that hosts the final match on Halloween.

The competition begins with a highly anticipated match between the English hosts and the fearsome Fijian opposition before going onto the intense group stages where five teams compete in four pools before the heart-stopping knock out stages ensue.

Past success

The previous Rugby Union World Cup was held in 2011 in New Zealand where over one million spectators saw the host nation deservedly pick up the trophy after a tightly fought 8-7 victory over France.

The result showcased the stunning performances of teams from the southern hemisphere with the All Blacks, Australia and South Africa each winning two tournaments, whereas England’s famous 2003 victory is the only time that a team from the northern hemisphere have won the competition. However, recent results have been indicating that a possible upset could be on the cards, so for the latest rugby union news then head to the Coral website.

Favourites

Although there are a few teams that may raise a few eyebrows in the opening stages including Romania, Georgia and Namibia, there are few doubts about which teams will prove the ones to beat.

The title-holders New Zealand unsurprisingly hold the top place in the World Rugby Rankings based on their recent impressive performances that have included becoming the first rugby nation to achieve a 100% record in 2013.

Apart from the All Blacks, the Springboks have also been showing some impressive form, but with captain Jean de Villiers still showing some injury concerns, many are suggesting that Ireland and England could hold the best chance of upsetting New Zealand’s dominance of the game.

And with the Welsh team recently moving above Australia in the world rankings thanks to a recent win over Ireland in Cardiff, many are speculating that this year’s competition could be the most wide open yet.