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Rugby 2019 World Cup Japan schedule announced

World Rugby and the Japan Rugby organizing committee have announced the match schedule for the Rugby World Cup 2019.

Rugby 2019 World Cup Japan schedule announced
David RogersGetty Images

World Rugby and the Japan Rugby organizing committee have announced the match schedule for the Rugby World Cup 2019 which will be hosted in Japan.

With qualifying tournaments still underway, it’s been announced that Japan will play the winner of the European qualifying competition in the opening game of the 2019 Rugby World Cup at Tokyo’s Ajinomoto Stadium on 20 September.

This will be the first time the tournament will be held in Asia, as well as the first time the event will take place outside the traditional heartland of rugby.

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Scott BarbourGetty Images

All Blacks-Springboks

One of the most expected games of the pool stage will be New Zealand and South Africa’s Pool B opener in Yokohama. The match between the Boks and the All Blacks will be played at the Kanagawa Yokohama Stadium – with a capacity of 72,327 spectators – on Saturday, 21 September at 18:45 (local time, JST). It will be the second consecutive World Cup in which New Zealand faces their toughest pool opponent in their opening match, having done so against Argentina in 2015.

Apart from the match against the Springboks, the All Blacks, looking for their third straight title, will face a repachage winner on 2 October, a yet-to-be-determined African nation on 6 October  and Italy on 12 October. South Africa meanwhile, will play against a yet-to-be-determined African nation on 28 September, Italy on 4 October, and a repechage winner on 8 October. The All Blacks and the Springboks have met four times previous Rugby World Cup tournaments, with two victories for each.

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Stefan WermuthREUTERS

Japan aiming to reach the knockout stage

The Brave Blossoms will take on the winner of the European qualifying competition in the opening game of the World Cup. Japan’s rival in the opening match could be either Romania, Russia, Spain, Germany or Belgium. It will be determined in next year’s Rugby Europe Championship from February to March.

Bidding to reach the knockout stage, the Blossoms will then face Ireland on 28 September, the winner of the qualifying play-off on 5 October and Scotland on 13 October. “Seeing the schedule gives us certainty in terms of where the games are going to be played and who we’re going to be playing and at what time,” said Japan coach Jamie Joseph.“So that’s really exciting because it feels like the World Cup is drawing nearer. It allows us to start our planning in more detail now.”

Full tournament schedule


Sept. 20: Japan v Europe 1, Tokyo

Sept. 22: Ireland v Scotland, Yokohama

Sept. 24: Europe 1 v Playoff winner, Kumagaya

Sept. 28: Japan v Ireland, Shizuoka

Sept. 30: Scotland v Playoff winner, Kobe

Oct. 3: Ireland v Europe 1, Kobe

Oct. 5: Japan v Playoff winner, Toyota

Oct. 9: Scotland v Europe 1, Shizuoka

Oct. 12: Ireland v Playoff winner, Fukuoka

Oct. 13: Japan v Scotland, Yokohama


Sept. 21: New Zealand v South Africa, Yokohama

Sept. 22: Italy v Africa 1, Osaka

Sept. 26: Italy v Repechage winner, Fukuoka

Sept. 28: South Africa v Africa 1, Toyota

Oct. 2: New Zealand v Repechage winner, Oita

Oct. 4: South Africa v Italy, Shizuoka

Oct. 6: New Zealand v Africa 1, Tokyo

Oct. 8: South Africa v Repechage winner, Kobe

Oct. 12: New Zealand v Italy, Toyota

Oct. 13: Africa 1 v Repechage winner, Kamaishi


Sept. 21: France v Argentina, Tokyo

Sept. 22: England v Tonga, Sapporo

Sept. 26: England v United States, Kobe

Sept. 28: Argentina v Tonga, Osaka

Oct. 2: France v United States, Fukuoka

Oct. 5: England v Argentina, Tokyo

Oct. 6: France v Tonga, Kumamoto

Oct. 9: Argentina v United States, Kumagaya

Oct. 12: England v France, Yokohama

Oct. 13: United States v Tonga, Osaka


Sept. 21: Australia v Fiji, Sapporo

Sept 23: Wales v Georgia, Toyota

Sept. 25: Fiji v Americas 2, Kamaishi

Sept. 29: Georgia v Americas 2, Kumagaya

Sept. 29: Australia v Wales, Tokyo

Oct. 3: Georgia v Fiji, Osaka

Oct. 5: Australia v Americas 2, Oita

Oct. 9: Wales v Fiji, Oita

Oct. 11: Australia v Georgia, Shizuoka

Oct. 13: Wales v Americas 2, Kunamoto


Oct. 19: Winner Pool C v Runner-up Pool D, Oita (QF1)

Oct. 19: Winner Pool B v Runner-up Pool A, Tokyo (QF2)

Oct. 20: Winner Pool D v Runner-up Pool C, Oita (QF3)

Oct. 20: Winner Pool A v Runner-up Pool B, Tokyo (QF4)


Oct. 26: Winner QF 1 v Winner QF 2, Yokohama

Oct. 27: Winner QF 3 v Winner QF 4, Yokohama


Nov. 2: Yokohama


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