The Rugby World Cup’s rank outsiders are in action on Sunday afternoon and face a stern task in competing effectively with Six Nations side Italy.
Namibia always play with plenty of heart, but they simply lack the talent and depth of their more-experienced opponents and that is telling at a tournament as big as the Rugby World Cup.
The line is set at only 28.5 points and I think that Italy could realistically have that covered by half time.
Six Nations rivals Ireland and Scotland will begin their respective Rugby World Cup campaigns in the evening timeslot today and betting suggests that the former will draw first blood.
Ireland are typically one of the northern hemisphere’s legitimate threats at the Rugby World Cup and there is renewed optimism around their campaign this time. They have been gifted what is easily the weakest pool at the tournament and will be confident of getting the campaign off to a strong start.
I think that Scotland can be a thorn in the side of Ireland, but I’m just not sure they’ll have the means to win. Both sides will look to kick the ball as much as possible and I think that will add to a tightly contested fixture.
This looks like being the biggest ‘non-contest’ of the 2019 Rugby World Cup so far and that is echoed in betting; at publish England are unbackable $1.01 favourites, while you can all but write your own ticket for Tonga.
England enter every World Cup as heavyweights, but they’ll be particularly eager to respond to their shock exit at the Pool stage four years ago, but the addition of Eddie Jones as coach has already had a huge effect on their make-up, confidence and their potency in attack, and they can make a real statement straight up.
Tonga will simply be outclassed, and it is tough imagining them finishing within 38.5 points.