The rugby world cup starts tonight with England versus Fiji in the opening match. There is huge pressure on Stuart Lancaster's men with the tournament being hosted here in England and they have an extremely tough group.
Four out of the five teams in their group are ranked in the world's top nine which shows how tough a group it is to get out of. However, whoever manages to win this group has about the easiest passage to the final as they could hope for. It will probably be Scotland or Somoa in the quarter finals and then either Ireland or France in the semi finals, therefore missing either New Zealand or South Africa until the final.
Tonight's game is a tough start for England with a very physical Fiji side sure to prove a tough side break down. They also have massive winger Nemani Nadolo who can cause all sorts of problems for teams.
Fiji normally only have a few days to prepare for each of their matches but this time around they have been together for four months so I think they have the ability to surprise the teams in this group. I am sure England will prove too strong but I feel that the bookies have definitely overpriced them on the handicap. We can get evens on Fiji with a plus 25 start and I think that is a cracking bet. I have a feeling that it will be tight and cagey early on and it won't be until the second half that England really stamp their authority on the match.
Berland with Jamie Spencer on board will be popular after winning nicely over nine furlongs at Leicester last time out, however that was on good to firm ground (as was his only other win) and he hasn't appeared to have handled the softer conditions to date. With the current going at Newbury officially soft that has to be a worry.
Calm Attitude wasn't put into the race early enough last time out and finished fifth but prior to that he won a class 3 over this distance on soft going and he has the talent to take this race at a nice price. The distance and going are perfect for and if he turns up in good heart he will take some beating today.
England v Fiji - Fiji +25 @ Evens - 1 point (Most firms)
New Zealand to win the World Cup - 3 points @ 5/4 (Ladbrokes, Coral)
Newbury 18:00 Calm Attitude - 1 point @ 6/1 (Skybet)