Wales begin their 2019 World Cup campaign against Georgia at the Toyota Stadium on Monday morning.
In truth, it should be a routine victory for the Six Nations Champions, but as we all know nothing in sport is a foregone conclusion.
After all preparations for Japan have been far from perfect for the Dragons. They lost their last two warm up games against Ireland before assistant coach Rob Howley returned home following a breach of Wales Rugby regulations.
Warren Gatland’s 31 man squad features a blend of youth and experience with the likes of Alun Wyn Jones, George North and Rhys Carre all in included. It’s a squad that many believe can go all the way to the final. Whether they can win it is a different question entirely, but they’re probably Europe’s best shot of winning the Webb Ellis Cup.
Georgia will be provide Wales with a tough, physical test in their opening group D game. The Georgians are well known for their strong forward pack which is likely to cause the Welsh a few problems early on.
Rugby Union is growing massively in Georgia and they’re probably one of the stronger tier two teams in Japan. They won the Six Nations B competition and have shown they have the ability to mix it with the best on their day.
Providing it’s their first game of the tournament you’d expect them to give a good account of themselves. They’re massive underdogs at 33/1, but there could be some value in handicap betting. Georgia +19 is 2/1.
It’s unsure whether Gatland will opt for a full strength side considering they play Australia in their next game. But influential outside back George North is 6/1 to score the first try.
Wales are as short as 1/33 to get off to a winning start. Handicap betting again provides some value with -23 available at 1/2.