The 2019 Rugby Union World Cup is held in Japan in September with defending Champions New Zealand looking to win the competition for a third time in a row.
We have our complete guide to the tournament with pool details, fixtures, TV schedule, history, previous winners, odds, World Cup records and much more.
Where and When is the 2019 World Cup?
Japan - This is the first rugby union World Cup held in Asia.
Dates: September 19-November 12, 2019
World Cup 2019 Facts
- First Rugby World Cup hosted in Asia
- Ninth Rugby World Cup
- 12 host cities from Sapporo in the north to Kumamoto in the south
- 20 teams
- 48 matches
- 207 broadcast territories
- 3,000 media in attendance
- 400,000 international visitors
- 1.8 million attendance
- 14 million rugby fans in Japan
- 112 million rugby fans in Asia
- ¥216.6 billion added value to the Japanese economy
The trophy is known as the William Webb Ellis Trophy, named after the creator of rugby.
- There are four pools of five teams. Each nation plays each other once in their pool.
- The winner and runner-up in each pool will progress to the knock-out stages.
- There is a quarter-final and semi-final stage before the final.
- There is also a 'Bronze Final' for the two nations defeated in the semi-finals.
Pool Points Scoring System
- Win: 4 points
- Draw: 2 points
- Try Bonus Point: Scoring four tries or more in one match: 1 Bonus Point
- Losing Bonus Point: Losing a game by seven points or less: 1 Bonus Point
Therefore, the maximum points a team can earn for winning a match is 5 points. The most a losing side can get are 2 points - if they earn both a losing and try bonus point.
POOL A FIXTURES
- Japan vs Russia: Friday, September 20; 11.45am BST; Tokyo Stadium
- Ireland vs Scotland: Sunday, September 22; 8.45am BST; International Stadium Yokohama
- Russia vs Samoa: Tuesday, September 24; 11.15am BST; Kumagaya Rugby Stadium
- Japan vs Ireland: Saturday, September 28; 8.15am BST; Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa
- Scotland vs Samoa: Monday, September 30;11.15am BST; Kobe Misaki Stadium
- Ireland vs Russia: Thursday, October 3; 11.15am BST; Kobe Misaki Stadium
- Japan vs Samoa: Saturday, October 5; 11.30am BST; City of Toyota Stadium
- Scotland vs Russia: Wednesday, October 9; 8.15am BST; Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa
- Ireland vs Samoa: Saturday, October 12;11.45am BST; Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium
- Japan vs Scotland: Sunday, October 13; 11.45am BST; International Stadium Yokohama
- NEW ZEALAND
- SOUTH AFRICA
POOL B FIXTURES
- New Zealand vs South Africa: Saturday, September 21;10.45am BST; International Stadium Yokohama
- Italy vs Namibia: Sunday, September 22; 6.15am BST; Hanazono Rugby Stadium
- Italy vs Canada.: Thursday, September 26; 8.45am BST; Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium
- South Africa vs Namibia: Saturday, September 28; 10.45am BST; City of Toyota Stadium
- New Zealand vs Canada: Wednesday, October 2; 11.15am BST; Oita Stadium
- South Africa vs Italy:. Friday, October 4; 10.45am BST; Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa
- New Zealand vs Namibia: Sunday, October 6; 5.45am BST; Tokyo Stadium
- South Africa vs Canada: Tuesday, October 8; 11.15am BST; Kobe Misaki Stadium
- New Zealand vs Italy: Saturday, October 12; 5.45am BST; City of Toyota Stadium.
- Namibia vs Canada: Sunday, October 13; 4.15am BST; Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium
POOL C Fixtures
- France vs Argentina: Saturday, September 21; 8.15am BST; Tokyo Stadium
- England vs Tonga: Sunday, September 22; 11.15am BST; Sapporo Dome
- England vs USA: Thursday, September 26; 11.45am BST; Kobe Misaki Stadium
- Argentina vs Tonga: Saturday, September 28; 5.45am BST; Hanazono Rugby Stadium
- France vs USA: Wednesday, October 2; 8.45am BST; Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium
- England vs Argentina: Saturday, October 5; 9am BST; Tokyo Stadium
- France vs Tonga: Sunday, October 6; 8.45am BST; Kumamoto Stadium
- Argentina vs USA: Wednesday, October 9; 5.45am BST; Kumagaya Rugby Stadium
- England vs France: Saturday, October 12; 9.15am BST; International Stadium Yokohama
- USA vs Tonga: Sunday, October 13; 6.45am BST; Hanazono Rugby Stadium
POOL D Fixtures
- Australia vs Fiji: Saturday, September 21;5.45am BST; Sapporo Dome
- Wales vs Georgia: Monday, September 23;11.15am BST; City of Toyota Stadium
- Fiji vs Uruguay: Wednesday, September 25; 6.15am BST; Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium
- Georgia vs Uruguay: Sunday, September 29; 6.15am BST; Kumagaya Rugby Stadium
- Australia vs Wales: Sunday, September 29; 8.45am BST; Tokyo Stadium
- Georgia vs Fiji :Thursday, October 3; 6.15am BST; Hanazono Rugby Stadium
- Australia vs Uruguay:Saturday, October 5; 6.15am BST; Oita Stadium
- Wales vs Fiji: Wednesday, October 9; 10.45am BST; Oita Stadium
- Australia vs Georgia; Friday, October 11; 11.15am BST; Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa
- Wales vs Uruguay; Sunday, October 13; 9.15am BST; Kumamoto Stadium
Knock Out Stages
- Quarter-Finals: October 19-20
- Semi-Finals: October 26-27; Both at 9.00am BST
- Bronze Final: Friday November 1; 9.00am BST
- Final: Saturday November 2
Quarter Final One: Winner Pool C v Runner-up Pool D
Quarter Final Two: Winner Pool B v Runner-up Pool A
Quarter Final Three: Winner Pool D v Runner-up C
Quarter Final Four: Winner Pool A v Runner-up Pool B
Semi Final One: Winner Quarter Final One v Winner Quarter Final Two
Semi Final Two: Winner Quarter Final Three v Winner Quarter Final Four
When and where is the 2019 World Cup Final?
- Saturday November 2; 9.00am BST
- International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama City
Where can I watch World Cup matches?
ITV have exclusive rights for the World Cup in the UK and will screen every game of the tournament. ITV have yet to publish which games will be on which ITV channel.
Who are the favourites?
New Zealand are the reigning Champions, having won the previous two tournaments. They are the number one ranked side in the world and thus favourites to win in Japan.
Wales won the 2019 Six Nations to move to second in the world rankings, but they've never made a World Cup Final, getting to the semi-finals only.
Ireland were second in the world rankings before defeat to Wales in the Six Nations, but have never made it passed the quarter final stage of a World Cup to date.
England are the only Northern Hemisphere team to have won the World Cup.
- New Zealand - 11/10
- England - 9/2
- Ireland 5/1
- Wales 6/1
- South Africa - 9/1
- Australia - 14/1
- France - 28/1
- Argentina - 33/1
- Scotland - 40/1
- Japan - 200/1
- Italy - 500/1
*Odds correct of 10/7/19
Our rugby union expert Gareth Jones has selected:
Where is the next World Cup?
France will host the 2023 World Cup. It will be the second time France have been the main host nation of the World Cup.
World Cup History
1987: This first World Cup was held jointly in New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand won the tournament.
1991: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France jointly hosted the World Cup, the first in the Northern Hemisphere. Australia beat England in the final at Twickenham.
1995: The final World Cup of the amateur era. Hosts South Africa beat New Zealand in the final, inspired by Nelson Mandela's new rainbow nation.
1999: Australia become the first nation to win the World Cup twice, beating France 35-12 in the Cardiff Final, to add to their 1991 victory.
2003: England win the World Cup to become the first and still only Northern Hemisphere nation to lift the William Webb Ellis Trophy.
2015: New Zealand become the first nation to both win back-to-back World Cups and win the tournament for a third time. In the same tournament England became the first host nation to fail to make it passed the pool stage.
2015: New Zealand 34-17 Australia, London, England
2011: New Zealand 8-7 France, Auckland, New Zealand
2007: South Africa 15-6 England, Paris, France
2003: England 20-17 Australia (aet), Sydney, Australia
1999: Australia 35-12 France, Cardiff, Wales
1995: South Africa 15-12 New Zealand (aet), Johannesburg, South Africa
1991: Australia 12-6 England, London, England
1987: New Zealand 29-9 France, Auckland, New Zealand
World Cup Famous Moments
2003 - Jonny Wilkinson kicks England to World Cup Glory
1995 - Rugby unites South Africa
2015 - Japan beat South Africa in greatest World Cup shock
1987 - New Zealand win first World Cup
World Cup Records
- Total World Cup Points: 277 Jonny Wilkinson, England
- Total World Cup Tries: 15 Jonah Lomu, New Zealand; Bryan Habana, South Africa
- Most points in one tournament: 126, Grant Fox, New Zealand in 1987
- Most World Cup matches: 22, Jason Leonard, England
- Most tries in a World Cup match: 6, Marc Ellis, New Zealand v Japan in 1995
- Youngster player to appear in a Final: 20 years and 43 days, Jonah Lomu, New Zealand
- Most tries in a single tournament: 8, Jonah Lomu, New Zealand (1999); Bryan Habana, South Africa (2000)
- Most points scores in a World Cup game: 145, New Zealand v Japan 1995
- Biggest winning margin: 142, Australia v Namibia in 2003