Can Wales win the Rugby World Cup this year?

Warren Gatland’s side are one of the strongest units in the sport and are more than capable of competing with the best teams on the planet.

In the Six Nations tournament earlier this year, Wales played some scintillating rugby and will feel aggrieved to miss out on the title after an impressive 61-20 thrashing of Italy on the final day of the competition.

Gatland’s men lost their opening fixture against Stuart Lancaster’s England at the Millennium Stadium and it could be argued that their dreadful second half performance in that encounter handed Ireland the Six Nations trophy.

However, Wales will be looking to dust themselves down and will be quietly confident of reaching the latter stages of the 2015 Rugby World Cup – which gets underway on 18th September. We take a look at Wales’ chances of success in the tournament and give our thoughts on other possible contenders for the crown. You can visit Coral’s website for more news and odds on the Rugby World Cup, as well as other general rugby news.

Wales were knocked out of the 2011 Rugby World Cup at the semi-finals stage by France after referee Alain Rolland controversially dismissed Sam Warburton early on in the first half of the match.

This year, they will be looking to go one better and – although they have been paired with both England and Australia – they have an extremely talented squad with players that can hurt opposing teams on both sides of the ball. George North and Alex Cuthbert are strong, agile wingers who can power past opponents and make clean breaks.

They will have to cope with a hostile crowd at Twickenham; however that shouldn’t be a huge problem. Wales earned a 19-12 victory at the home of English rugby back in 2012 but have lost the last two fixtures against their old rivals.

England will be a huge threat throughout the tournament and, along with New Zealand and South Africa, will be one of the leading candidates to lift the trophy on 31st October. The All Blacks are the defending champions and arguably possess the best squad on the planet but they may struggle to cope with England if Lancaster’s side perform at their very best.

Meanwhile, South Africa are always a danger and beat England in the 2007 tournament to claim victory. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see one of these Southern Hemisphere sides emerge as the World Cup champion.