File: A former chief executive of England's Rugby Football Union put forward a scheme to stage a 16-team invitational tournament.
Another Sunday morning clash that looks to be one way traffic as England meet Tonga in Sapporo.
It’s reflected in the 1/100 odds on England and the 40/1 on Tonga to get anywhere near causing what will go down as one of the big shocks rugby has ever seen.
The Handicap also reflects the general mood of this fixture with England (-40.5) vs Tonga (+40.5) at 9/10 and England (-41.5) vs Tonga (+39.5) at even money.
It’s one of those matches that means a closer look at some of the spread betting options as a way to profit on what should be a one-sided Test.
The Winning Margin Spread sees England 41-45 quoted at 11/2 and England 36-40 at 6/1. If you think it might be a big closer than that then you can take some of the 10/1 on England 21-25.
England have dominated this opposition in the past and the last time they met, in November 2016, they claimed a 58-15 victory, a win by 43 points. They’ve won all seven encounters against the Tongans.
There’s 13/2 on England by 31-35 points and the same price for England 46-50. Take 8/1 if you fancy England 26-30.
There’s 9/10 either way being offered on the Total Points being odd or even for the fixture and the same price for the First Half Odd/Even Points market.
One market that does catch the eye for this match is the price offered on the chances of a red card. If you think there might be one then you can take 7/1. It’s a speculative one but here’s why.
Of the 17 red cards that have been dished out at the Rugby World Cup, three of them have been handed to Tonga players, one of those coming against England.
That was during a game where they were on the receiving end of a thrashing. Frustrations might just flare up again in what looks to be a very difficult contest for the Tongans to start their campaign in.
England are ranked as the world’s third best side according to the world rankings and Tonga are 15th. It’s hard to imagine this fixture will turn out to be competitive.
Instead it will likely be a case of England trying to show early on in the tournament that they mean business.