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Who are you backing as top try scorer at the Rugby World Cup?

Julian Savea of New Zealand is the hot favourite in this field.

WITH LESS THAN a month to go until the World Cup kicks off, the excitement around seeing Joe Schmidt’s Ireland launch into their campaign continues to grow.

Julian Savea Savea is the current favourite. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

While the interest on Irish shores will obviously be focused on the progress of Paul O’Connell, Johnny Sexton and co., there is also intrigue at the prospect of seeing the rest of the best in the world in action.

Chris Ashton and Vincent Clerc were the joint top try scorers at the last World Cup in New Zealand with six each, and this promises to be a competitive field once again in 2015. Who are you backing to emerge on top of the pile?

The favourite

With 30 tries in his 35 caps so far, New Zealand powerhouse Julian Savea is the favourite to scoop this honour and has been for some time. ‘The Bus’ looked slightly short of full fitness in his recent outings against Australia, but he should be sharp in time for the World Cup.

Source: Rugby Guru/YouTube

As low as 4/1 with some bookmakers and at a best of 6/1, Savea has been heavily backed and will continue to be so up until the tournament starts.

Flying Springbok

Next in line with most bookies is South Africa’s experienced Bryan Habana, a man with 59 Test tries to his name over the course of 110 caps.

Now 32 years of age, Habana hasn’t been at his most prolific in the international game more recently, but he still possesses pace, intelligence and incredible instincts that allow him to react to opposition errors.

South Africa have had some poor results this year, though they remain an exceptionally strong outfit who will be confident in knock-out rugby.

Kiwi threats

Many people’s favourites to win the tournament for a second consecutive time, New Zealand have a number of other try-scoring threats in their ranks.

Ben Smith at fullback is an attacking genius, clinical on the counter-attack and always aware of opposition weaknesses. At 12/1 with some bookies, Smith will be a popular choice.

Nehe Milner-Skudder gets his pass away to set up Aaron Smith to score a try Milner-Skudder is suddenly of interest. Source: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

Nehe Milner-Skudder has stepped into international rugby with comfort in his first two Tests, scoring two tries on his debut against Australia and then impressing in Bledisloe II.

Ma’a Nonu is a clever presence in midfield too and his two tries last time out in Eden Park might have sparked some interest at 16/1. Aaron Smith and Conrad Smith are as high as 28/1, while Charles Piutau is available at 33/1 at the time of writing.

Izzy

Israel Folau looks to be back at his sensational best in the 15 shirt for Michael Cheika’s Wallabies and his physical prowess makes him a constant danger. 18 tries in 32 caps make him a very tempting proposition, especially at 20/1.

Another exciting fullback available at the same odds is South Africa’s Willie le Roux. A creative, intelligent player who is often the provider, le Roux also has nine Test tries to his name.

Cornal Hendricks at 16/1 and Lwazi Mvovo at 25/1 may also be of interest. Isreal Dagg, Malakai Fekitoa, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Henry Speight are other possibilities.

European challengers

If England are to take full benefit of home advantage, the electric Anthony Watson will be important on the wing for them. The Bath man can be picked up at 33/1 at the time of writing, while outside centre Jonathan Joseph is as high as 28/1 and Johnny May at 50/1.

Anthony Watson breaks Watson and Nakaitaci are both of interest. Source: Andrew Fosker/INPHO

The imposing George North will look to overcome his concussion issues and be prolific for Wales, with his odds ranging from 25/1 to 33/1.

For France, Yoann Huget at 40/1 and Nao Nakaitaci at 33/1 are interesting for those who think les Bleus can make an impact.

What of the Irish?

With five tries at the last World Cup, Keith Earls has shown his prowess at this level before, although his struggle is likely to be to start the majority of games for Ireland. Nonetheless, he’s available at 80/1.

Further up the list are wing trio Simon Zebo, Andrew Trimble and Tommy Bowe, all at 40/1 with at least one bookmaker as we write.

Tommy Bowe scores a try despite Adam Ashley-Cooper Will Tommy Bowe thrive? Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Craig Gilroy features at 50/1 with several bookmakers, while Jared Payne can be backed at 80/1. Conor Murray, Sean O’Brien, Rob Kearney and Johnny Sexton are outsiders at up to 150/1, and Robbie Henshaw is also available at that price.

AN Other

Will there be a major surprise in the World Cup top try scorer field for 2015? Who do you fancy in this market? Let us know how you see it going in the comments section below.

All odds via Oddschecker at 13.40 on 19 August.

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Murray Kinsella

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