Rugby Union World Cup 2019 Guide: Groups; teams, fixtures, TV Schedule; history, facts; odds, previous winners

This will be the first World Cup held in Asia
This will be the first World Cup held in Asia

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

The trophy is known as the William Webb Ellis Trophy, named after the creator of rugby.

The William Webb Ellis trophy
The William Webb Ellis trophy

Tournament Format

  • 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.

Japan are hosting their first World Cup
Japan are hosting their first World Cup

Pools

POOL A

  • IRELAND
  • SCOTLAND
  • JAPAN
  • RUSSIA
  • SAMOA

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

POOL B

  • NEW ZEALAND
  • SOUTH AFRICA
  • ITALY
  • NAMIBIA
  • CANADA

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
Captain Richie McCaw lifts the World Cup for New Zealand in 2015
Captain Richie McCaw lifts the World Cup for New Zealand in 2015

POOL C

  • ENGLAND
  • FRANCE
  • ARGENTINA
  • USA
  • TONGA

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

  • AUSTRALIA
  • WALES
  • GEORGIA
  • FIJI
  • URUGUAY

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
The International Stadium Yokohama will host the World Cup Final
The International Stadium Yokohama will host the World Cup Final

Knock Out Stages

Dates

  • 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

Format

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.

Japan caused one of the greatest World Cup upsets in 2015, as they beat South Africa 34-32
Japan caused one of the greatest World Cup upsets in 2015, as they beat South Africa 34-32

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.

Sky Bet odds - To Win

  • 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

Check out Sky Bet's full World Cup market here

*Odds correct of 10/7/19

Recommended Bets

Our rugby union expert Gareth Jones has selected:

2pts New Zealand to win the World Cup at 11/10

1pt e.w. Wales to win the World Cup at 6/1

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

New Zealand and France contested the first ever World Cup Final in 1987
New Zealand and France contested the first ever World Cup Final in 1987

Notable Dates:

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.

Previous winners

England won the World Cup for the first and so far only time in 2003
England won the World Cup for the first and so far only time in 2003

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

Wilkinson's breathtaking drop goal- RWC Final 2003

1995 - Rugby unites South Africa

Springboks unite a nation: RWC 1995 final

2015 - Japan beat South Africa in greatest World Cup shock

Japan v South Africa - Full Match Highlights and Tries

1987 - New Zealand win first World Cup

New Zealand win Rugby World Cup 1987 | RWC GOLD

World Cup Records

Jonah Lomu in action against England in the 1995 World Cup in South Africa
Jonah Lomu in action against England in the 1995 World Cup in South Africa
  • 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

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