johnny sexton Ireland Rugby

2023 Rugby World Cup Pool B Preview, Predictions & Odds

We have a 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool B preview, along with all our predictions and betting odds ahead of the event in September.

Teams In 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool B

There are five teams in Pool B of the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Those teams are:

South Africa





Qualification From Pool B

The two teams that finish top of Pool B will qualify for the quarter-finals of this year’s Rugby World Cup. The bottom three teams will be knocked out.

Ireland, at 5/6 to win Pool B, and South Africa, at 5/4 to win Pool B, are the two strong favourites to qualify out of this pool although Scotland are not without a chance either.

2023 Rugby World Cup Pool B Preview

South Africa

World Number 4 South Africa will be making their eighth appearance at a Rugby World Cup. This is a competition which they have won three times; in 1995, 2007 and 2019. That win in 2019 of course makes them the defending champions following their 12-32 victory against England in the final a little under four years ago.

Head Coach Jacques Nienaber has been in charge since  January 2020 and had no experience as a main man before taking this role. He would have to wait a full year due to the Covid-19 pandemic before finally fielding his first team against Georgia on July 2nd, 2021 ahead of the 2021 British and Irish Lions series which they would win 2-1.

South Africa has had one game in 2023 so far, which was a massive 43-12 victory against Australia in the 2023 Rugby Championship. South Africa have two games remaining in that competition which will come against New Zealand and Argentina before their World Cup commences.


World Number 1 Ireland have appeared at ten World Cups but famously have never advanced beyond the quarter-final stage of the competition. The Irish will come into this year’s tournament with expectations arguably as high as they have ever been on the back of their 2022 Grand Slam victory.

They head to France for this Rugby World Cup as third favourites to win the tournament at odds of 4/1. This puts them behind only France and New Zealand in the outright betting market.

Head Coach Andy Farrell has been in charge since 2020, and he has already guided Ireland to the 2022 Triple Crown and the 2023 Six Nations Championship, Grand Slam and Triple Crown. Farrell has the best win-rate of any Ireland Head Coach with more than 2 matches, with 28 wins from 35 games and a win-rate of 80%.

The pressure will be on Ireland in France to not only finally get past the quarter-final stage but also to challenge for the trophy.


Scotland are the 5th ranked team in the world and will be making their ninth Rugby World Cup appearance in September. Their best-ever finish was fourth-place which came all the way back in 1991.

Gregor Townsend has been Head Coach of this Scottish side since 2017 and recently signed a contract extension that is set to keep him at the helm until 2026.

Scotland are coming into this tournament following a strong 2023 Six Nations campaign where they finished third, beating Wales, Italy and England. They also kept their meetings between France and Ireland relatively competitive as both games were decided by less than 15 points.

Scotland will be without the services of legendary full-back Stuart Hogg for this World Cup after he announced his immediate retirement from rugby union this July. Hogg (31) is the country’s record try-scorer and in his retirement announcement said his body could not take the strain anymore as injuries took their toll.


World Number 15 Tonga will be making their ninth World Cup appearance in September but have yet to get out of the Pool Stage.

Toutai Kefu has been in charge since 2016 but has yet to guide them to a victory over a Tier 1 Nation. Tonga qualified for this tournament by winning the Asia/Pacific play-off 44-22 against Hong Kong.


Last up we have Romania who are the 19th ranked country in world rugby. The Romanians will be making their ninth Rugby World Cup appearance this September but like Tonga also have never been out of the Pool Stage.

Eugen Apjok has been in charge of this squad since 2022 but has a tough job on his hands if they’re to win against a Tier 1 Nation for the first time since beating Italy in 2004.

Rugby World Cup Pool B Betting Odds


To Win



South Africa








Game of the Pool

South Africa v Ireland – 8pm, September 23rd.

Player to Watch

Johnny Sexton has already cemented his standing as an Irish legend and one of the finest rugby players the country has ever produced. What a career the now 38 year-old fly-half has had for Ireland ahead of what will surely be his last World Cup.

Sexton has scored over 1000 points and won everything there is to win for his country except that elusive World Cup. It would certainly be a fairytale ending for Sexton (something Messi like) if he could orchestrate a World Cup success in his final game for Ireland.

Rugby World Cup Pool B Prediction

1st – South Africa

2nd – Ireland

3rd – Scotland

4th – Tonga

5th – Romania

Ireland and South Africa will expect to fight it out for the top spot, but Scotland will feel they can have their say too.

Honestly, I could see this going down to score differential, with South Africa and Ireland cancelling themselves out in a draw.

Tonga will attempt to challenge Scotland for the automatic 2027 World Cup spot with Romania likely helpless in last place.

Click Below For All Our 2023 Rugby World Cup Pool B Odds

2023 Rugby World Cup Pool B Odds

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