Rugby World Cup Pool A: England play Uruguay with point to prove
Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last week, host nation England are out of their own Rugby World Cup after falling to Australia.
Wounded national pride is likely to get a much-needed salve, however, when Stuart Lancaster’s side take on part-timers Uruguay in their meaningless final match of Pool A.
England are dead certs at 1/1000 to win at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, while the Teros as massive 40/1 outsiders and highly unlikely to cause a shock which would further deepen the disgrace.
Lancaster lamented a lack of experience in the wake of the Rugby World Cup exit to Australia and perhaps hinted his days as coach are probably numbered. “It’s hard to make selections when you have an inexperienced team and bringing more inexperience in,” he said.
“I understand that, not having nailed a Six Nations or a Grand Slam and certainly not having nailed this World Cup, there is no room for error. Obviously that will all be taken into consideration over the next few weeks.
“There is a lifespan to international coaching; the players tend to stay the same, so there is an inevitability that the coach will have to change. That’s not me stating a case for me one way or another. I’ll wait and see how I feel and how the RFU feel in the next couple of weeks.”
Having won their only previous meeting with Uruguay by a massive 98 points, England can give dejected fans the perfect tonic by trouncing the semi-professionals again. In reaction to that terminal 33-13 loss to the Wallabies, Lancaster has made nine changes to his XV.
At the back, Danny Care, George Ford, Alex Goode, Jack Nowell and Henry Slade come in, with controversial selection and rugby league convert Sam Burgess dropped altogether. Owen Farrell switches to inside centre, and all of these players are odds-on for tries anytime.
Winger Anthony Watson went over against the Aussies, and is one of six to keep his place. He features in an enhanced matchday special of 5/2 for a hat-trick of tries here. Punters can stake up to £20 on this boosted price bet.
Mako Vunipola, James Haskell and Nick Easter come into the pack, but Ben Youngs and Ben Morgan will not be risked after picking up injuries that took most of the week to shake off.
A massive margin of victory is assured, and England should cover the handicap, which is set at 62 points here for a return of evens, and the 61-65 points brackets is more rewarding still at 5/1.
Santiago Gibernau and Agustin Ormaechea are the closest thing the Teros have to a threat, but both are 11/2 anytime tryscorer chances.
Coral’s top tip: Take evens on England covering that 62-point handicap.