Japan 2019: Rugby World Cup Fixtures & Prediction

The 2019 Rugby World Cup gets underway on September 20, with New Zealand big favourites to lift the trophy for the third consecutive time.

The tournament heads to Asia for the first time in 2019, with Japan set to stage the sport’s most prestigious international event.

The opening game will take place at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo on September 20 as hosts Japan go head-to-head with Russia.

The final is scheduled to be played at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, on November 2.

Read on as we preview the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Pool A – Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia, Samoa

Ireland appeared to be the northern hemisphere’s best hope of success at the World Cup heading into 2019, but an indifferent showing at the recent Six Nations championship has hindered their preparations.

England and Wales both beat Joe Schmidt’s side and, while they are expected to qualify from Pool A, they don’t appeal as likely winners of the World Cup.

Scotland should also progress, although they would do well not to underestimate hosts Japan in the opening stage. Samoa and Russia should fill the bottom two spots in the group.

Pool B – New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada

New Zealand are strongly fancied to win the 2019 Rugby World Cup and it would be a brave move to back against them doing just that.

They have won 21 of the last 24 internationals they have played, losing against just Australia, South Africa and Ireland during that period.

South Africa should qualify alongside them, with Italy, Namibia and Canada looking out of their depth in this group.

Pool C – England, France, Argentina, USA, Tonga

England finished five points behind Wales to claim the runners-up spot in this year’s Six Nations, displaying some worrying fragility during the tournament.

Eddie Jones’ side blew a 31-0 lead against Scotland, but if he can address their concentration issues they could be tough to beat in Japan.

France and Argentina will fight out second spot, with the USA and Tonga expected to fill fourth and fifth positions.

Pool D – Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Uruguay

Success at the Six Nations means Wales are now considered to be the second-best team in the world, but whether they can live up to that tag at the World Cap is open to debate.

Wales have never finished better than third at the tournament and although they should reach the knockout stage it’s difficult to imagine them toppling New Zealand.

Two-time winners Australia should also progress, although they will need to find some consistency if they’re to challenge for the trophy.

PREDICTION

With question marks hanging over most of their main rivals, New Zealand should cruise to their third World Cup success in a row.

2019 RUGBY WORLD CUP FIXTURES (all times BST)

Pool A – Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia, Samoa.

Friday, September 20 – Japan vs Russia – Tokyo Stadium – 11.45am.
Sunday, September 22 – Ireland vs Scotland – International Stadium Yokohama – 8.45am.
Tuesday, September 24 – Russia vs Samoa – Kumagaya Rugby Stadium – 11.15am.
Saturday, September 28 – Japan vs Ireland – Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa – 8.15am.
Monday, September 30 – Scotland vs Samoa – Kobe Misaki Stadium – 11.15am.
Thursday, October 3 – Ireland vs Russia – Kobe Misaki Stadium – 11.15am.
Saturday, October 5 – Japan vs Samoa – City of Toyota Stadium – 11.30am.
Wednesday, October 9 – Scotland vs Russia – Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa – 8.15am.
Saturday, October 12 – Ireland vs Samoa – Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium – 11.45am.
Sunday, October 13 – Japan vs Scotland – International Stadium Yokohama – 11.45am.

Pool B – New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada.

Saturday, September 21 – New Zealand vs South Africa – International Stadium Yokohama – 10.45am.
Sunday, September 22 – Italy vs Namibia – Hanazono Rugby Stadium – 6.15am.
Thursday, September 26 – Italy vs Canada – Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium – 8.45am.
Saturday, September 28 – South Africa vs Namibia – City of Toyota Stadium – 10.45am.
Wednesday, October 2 – New Zealand vs Canada – Oita Stadium – 11.15am.
Friday, October 4 – South Africa vs Italy – Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa – 10.45am.
Sunday, October 6 – New Zealand vs Namibia – Tokyo Stadium – 5.45am.
Tuesday, October 8 – South Africa vs Canada – Kobe Misaki Stadium – 11.15am.
Saturday, October 12 – New Zealand vs Italy – City of Toyota Stadium – 5.45am.
Sunday, October 13 – Namibia vs Canada – Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium – 4.15am.

Pool C – England, France, Argentina, USA, Tonga.

Saturday, September 21 – France vs Argentina – Tokyo Stadium – 8.15am.
Sunday, September 22 – England vs Tonga – Sapporo Dome – 11.15am.
Thursday, September 26 – England vs USA – Kobe Misaki Stadium – 11.45am.
Saturday, September 28 – Argentina vs Tonga – Hanazono Rugby Stadium – 5.45am.
Wednesday, October 2 – France vs USA – Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium – 8.45am.
Saturday, October 5 – England vs Argentina – Tokyo Stadium – 9.00am.
Sunday, October 6 – France vs Tonga – Kumamoto Stadium – 8.45am.
Wednesday, October 9 – Argentina vs USA – Kumagaya Rugby Stadium – 5.45am.
Saturday, October 12 – England vs France – International Stadium Yokohama – 9.15am.
Sunday, October 13 – USA vs Tonga – Hanazono Rugby Stadium – 6.45am.

Pool D – Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Uruguay.

Saturday, September 21 – Australia vs Fiji – Sapporo Dome – 5.45am.
Monday, September 23 – Wales vs Georgia – City of Toyota Stadium – 11.15am.
Wednesday, September 25 – Fiji vs Uruguay – Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium – 6.15am.
Sunday, September 29 – Georgia vs Uruguay – Kumagaya Rugby Stadium – 6.15am.
Sunday, September 29 – Tokyo Stadium – Australia vs Wales – 8.45am.
Thursday, October 3 – Georgia vs Fiji – Hanazono Rugby Stadium – 6.15am.
Saturday, October 5 – Australia vs Uruguay – Oita Stadium – 6.15am.
Wednesday, October 9 – Wales vs Fiji – Oita Stadium – 10.45am.
Friday, October 11 – Australia vs Georgia – Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa – 11.15am.
Sunday, October 13 – Wales vs Uruguay – Kumamoto Stadium – 9.15am.

Knockout stage

Quarter-Finals – October 19-20.
Semi-Finals – October 26-27.
Bronze Final – November 1.
Final – November 2.

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