Can anyone stop the Kangaroos?

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Australia will once again be the team to beat at the upcoming Rugby League World Cup Down Under – but there are a few candidates who will be looking to knock the Kangaroos off their stride.

The competition gets underway with a mouth-watering contest as Australia host England in Melbourne on October 27 (Australia 1/8, draw 20/1, England 4/1 – Match Betting).

England boss Wayne Bennett has raised a few eyebrows with his squad selection ahead of the tournament in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

The lack of Castleford Tigers stars has not gone unnoticed with this season’s Super League top tryscorer Greg Eden overlooked, while Cas team-mate Michael Shenton was also deemed to be surplus to requirements.

England, it has to be said, do still have a strong squad and stars that will be no strangers to playing on the biggest stage.

With the likes of forwards Sam Burgess and Sean O’Loughlin leading from the front, England are certainly contenders at 10/1.

Elsewhere, New Zealand will fancy their chances of undoing the reigning champions Australia and the Kiwis have stars of their own to watch out for.

Half-back Shaun Johnson is one of the best players in the game to watch on his day, with the playmaker able to create tries and score them out of seemingly nothing.

On paper, the Kiwis should be Australia’s closest competitors and, at 9/2, they do have some value compared to the 4/19 for a Kangaroos’ overall success.

When looking for a potential outsider for the competition, Tonga represent a great price at 22/1.

Jason Taumalolo and Andrew Fifita turned their backs on New Zealand and Australia respectively to play for Tonga, who find themselves in a group with the Kiwis, Samoa and Scotland.

With three teams qualifying for the knockout stages from that group, Tonga should progress and could have some real momentum behind them as they look for scalps against the bigger nations.

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