Rugby can be a deceptively complex sport for newcomers. Scrums or lineouts? Restarts or rucks & mauls? Then come secondary considerations, like how viewers in the Northern Hemisphere can keep up with union rugby, and vice versa for viewers in the Southern Hemisphere looking to catch up on rugby league.
Despite the global pool of competition and differences in rugby’s two factions, more and more sports fans are becoming rugby enthusiasts each year. In 2019, following the Rugby World Cup’s first debut in Asia, saw an 18% jump in fans across 85 countries (according to Nielsen Sports & Entertainment).
As the sport becomes more popular worldwide, finding a great league and a competitive sportsbook isn’t the hardest part of wagering on rugby. There are ample sports betting groups that offer odds on both rugby union and league competitions, from accas to futures bets.
What’s more difficult is knowing which rugby league format offers the most competitive edge, and which has the most comprehensive statistical analysis to rely on. High-octane action aside, which rugby competitions offer more to punters?
Given the name’s similarities to the failed Super League proposed by elite association football clubs across Europe, rugby league’s own Super League has also come under question. Debates on relegation and promotion aside, the Super League is one of the most competitive markets for rugby punters to engage in.
Similar to association football, the league has a tight breadth of competition, which means every game is a battle worth watching. For punters, though, the league’s maturity means there are ample historical records and data available to make leaner, smarter decisions when making futures and match bets.
Rugby League World Cup
Compared to the Rugby World Cup (union), the RLWC may seem to lack variation. The 16-team format has seen a disproportionate number of wins from the Australian test team. The team that comes closest to their 11 Paul Barrière Trophy nabs is Britain, which only has three.
However, the international competition has all the intrigue that any globally-staged sports tournament does: cultural rivalries, deep rosters of the world’s best players, and a four-year gap to heighten excitement.
Luckily for punters, this highly-covered event means that pundits will have plenty of information and analysis to share. A fans toughest choice is whether to back their own teamor follow expert picks (or both).
Though it’s not a rugby league competition, the PRO14 still sees plenty of action from fans of the sport, as it brings together elite competition from Italy, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and South Africa. Not only does the range of talent change each season, but the international intrigue of the participating domestic clubs adds an extra element for punters to consider.
As one of the sport’s most popular leagues, deals and competitive offers abound for Top 14 competitions. Even better, teams from South Africa and Italy have yet to claim a title, which makes clubs from either nation great bets for those looking to back underdogs. The related English Premiership and French Top14 are also great options for rugby union punters.