The first contest in a three match international rugby test series between Australia and Ireland takes place in Brisbane on Saturday and the match result betting suggests there will be very little between the sides.
Australia v Ireland, Saturday 9th July, Brisbane, KO 12:05 (South African time)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Pascal Gaüzère (France), Paul Williams (New Zealand)
TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)
This is the first test match of the year for the Wallabies whose 2017 internationals produced some very mixed results. Their June tests included a home defeat to Scotland (24-19) and they made hard work of seeing off Italy (40-27).
The subsequent Rugby Championship campaign from August to September delivered wins home and away against Argentina, 2 draws with the Boks and 2 defeats to the All Blacks.
On tour at the end of 2017 the Wallabies began with wins in Japan (63-30) and Wales (29-21). They were beaten by England by 30-6 a scoreline which did their efforts little justice and they may well have been running on empty when they crashed to a 53-24 defeat to the Scots in Edinburgh.
Ireland head overseas on the back of winning the Six Nations title in February / March this year. They landed the Grand Slam in winning all 5 of their matches including away fixtures in France (15-13) and England (24-13).
On tour in June 2017 the Irish beat Japan (twice) and USA by comfortable margins and when hosting southern hemisphere sides in November they thrashed the Boks (38-3) in Dublin and they also beat Argentina (28-19).
Australia: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Marika Koroibete, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Dane Haylett-Petty, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Will Genia, 8 Caleb Timu, 7 Michael Hooper (c), 6 David Pocock, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 Scott Sio
Replacements: 16 Tolu Latu, 17 Allan Alaalatoa, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Lukhan Tui, 21 Pete Samu, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Reece Hodge
Ireland: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Conor Murray, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Peter O’Mahony (c), 5 Iain Henderson, 4 James Ryan, 3 John Ryan, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Sean Cronin, 17 Cian Healy, 18 Tadhg Furlong, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Jack Conan, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Johnny Sexton, 23 Jordan Larmour
Most Recent Head to Head (any venue)
2016 Dublin Ireland 27-24 Australia (Tries 3-3 )
2014 Dublin Ireland 26-23 Australia (Tries 2-3 )
2013 Dublin Ireland 15-32 Australia (Tries 0-4 )
2011 RWC Auckland Ireland 15–6 Australia (Tries 0-0 )
2010 Brisbane Australia 22–15 Ireland (Tries 2-0 )
2009 Dublin Ireland 20-20 Australia (Tries 2-2 )
Note, odds quoted are an average of what was available at the time of last update but are subject to change.
Ireland haven’t won a test in Australia since 1979 but they have named their strongest possible squad and will be confident of snapping that sequence in a series which promises to be a real humdinger.
The Wallabies blew hot and cold in 2017 but although their Super Rugby franchises haven’t exactly set that tournament alight in the current campaign.
Slight preference is for the hosts.
Bet: 4 units (1-10 scale) Australia to win at 23/20
Remember you can have your own say on all this week’s matches on our discussion forum