Ireland has gone rugby mad, according to bookies Paddy Power, who report Saturday’s Six Nations and Grand Slam decider as their biggest match in rugby betting history.
And with all the money on Ireland they have been backed into Evens to win the match with the result being that Paddy Power’s liabilities have pushed Wales out to a best price 4/5 to win on home soil.
Should Wales win by the 13 points or more that they require they are 4/1 to win the Championship outright.
To celebrate the Cardiff crunch, Paddy Power have release a host of special bets to whet the appetite of punters. Warren Gatland has been busy playing mind games in the match build up, saying the Welsh hate the Irish more than any other team.
Paddy Power offer odds of just 7/1 that he refuses to shake hands with Ireland boss Declan Kidney after the game. Gatland’s pre-match preamble would be described by many as fighting talk and its 4/1 that things boil over on the pitch and any player is shown a yellow or red card for fighting.
As for the fans – here’s one bet any traveling supporter can influence. It's 11/8 that Fields of Athenry is heard before Bread of Heaven once the match kicks off. Brian O’Driscoll has recaptured his best form but has taken a battering along the way, receiving frequent visits from the team physio. Paddy Power offer 4/1 that BOD receives attention twice or more during the match.
Paddy Power said: “Everyone is getting involved, it’s the biggest match we’ve ever seen, which is hardly surprising since we’ve waited 61 years for a Grand Slam. Every man, woman and child in the country is desperate for Ireland to win – and most of them have a few quid on too….no pressure lads!”
To win Championship: 1/7 Ireland, 4/1 Wales. To win Triple Crown: 4/5 Wales, Evs Ireland, 18/1 No winner To win Grand Slam: Evs Ireland, 8/11 No winner
Saturday’s Big Match Handicap Betting: 4/5 Wales 10/11 Wales (-1) 18/1 Draw 20/1 H’cap draw Evs Ireland 10/11 Ireland (+1)