Leinster heavily favored to capture 2024 United Rugby Championship

  • Leinster (-190) is favored to win the United Rugby Championship for the ninth time
  • South African teams like the Bulls (+700) and Stormers (+1000) have fared well since joining the competition in 2021
  • The URC Grand Final will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2024

Just over halfway through the season, Leinster is a heavy favorite to capture its fourth United Rugby Championship in seven years. The Irish club won four straight Grand Finals between 2018 and 2021 but failed to win the title in each of the past two campaigns despite finishing first in the regular season in points.

With the Lions sitting atop the standings after Round 11, are they primed to win another championship? Before we examine the URC futures, check out the top Rugby Betting Sites in 2024 and get our 2024 Six Nations Rugby Championship picks.

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URC Explained

If you’re unfamiliar with the United Rugby Championship, it’s a rebrand of the Pro14 tournament, which expanded in 2021 to include four South African franchises. The rugby union competition also includes teams from Italy, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, which has produced 13 champions and 13 runners-up in the competition’s 21-year history.

Teams are divided into four pools (Irish, Welsh, South African, and Italian & Scottish) with each squad facing the others in their group both at home and away. Additionally, each club plays the other 12 teams in the league once. At the end of the regular season, the top eight teams move on to the quarter-finals with home advantage determined by seeding. This year’s Grand Final is scheduled for Saturday, June 22.

Lions favored to resume dominance

Leinster (-190) sits atop the standings after Round 11 with a 9-2-0 record and 44 points. The Vodacom Bulls (+700) are 8-3-0 with 40 points and own the top point-differential (+147) in the league.

Next up is Glasgow (+1200) with 8-3-0 record and 40 points. The Warriors’ long odds are likely due to the fact they have only claimed one title (2015) in 21 years – the sole championship won by a Scottish club.

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Defending champs in the mix?

Munster (+700) is an unspectacular 6-4-1. However, The Red Army was even worse through the season’s first 11 games last year (5-6) before going on a legendary run to win the title. Munster reeled off three-consecutive playoff road victories over Glasgow, Leinster and the defending-champion Stormers to capture its third championship. The Irish club also has six runners-up and can never truly be counted out.

Best Bet

The Stormers (+1000) are a mediocre 6-5 to start the campaign, but have appeared in the past two Grand Finals. Based in Cape Town, the Stormers were on a 16-game winning streak against South African opposition in the URC before suffering a 40-22 loss to the Bulls in Round 11.

The past two seasons have proved that the United Rugby Championship will no longer be dominated by Ireland and the 2022 champions are plenty capable of going on a second-half run.

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