Betting: World Cup year might hinder Irish sides in Pro14 betting

Donn O'Sullivan


Donn O'Sullivan


Betting: World Cup year might hinder Irish sides in Pro14 betting

Leinster, current champions and favourites for next season already

With the Guinness Pro14 fixtures announced this week, attention will undoubtedly turn to who is going to win next season's grand final.

With the new season just weeks away, bookmakers have been quick to install current champions Leinster as strong favourites to retain their crown.

Leo Cullen's men are priced up at 7/5 to win next May's final, with the Scarlets of Wales named as second favourites at 4/1.

Munster are joint third favourites with the Glasgow Warriors with Johann van Graan's men listed at 5/1.

There is then a clear jump to the Ospreys at 18/1, while Ulster, Edinburgh, Cardiff, and Connacht are all priced in the 20s.

Rank outsiders for the title are the Southern Kings, listed as 500/1.

With this coming season being a World Cup year, it is yet unknown how many games Ireland's front line players will play for their provinces. Should the IRFU player welfare policy dictate that stars such as Conor Murray, Joey Carbery, Tadhg Beirne, Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander have their game time reduced, then Munster might struggle to reproduce the form which has seen them reach the knock out stages of the Guinness Pro14 for the last two seasons.