Rugby World Cup 2019 fixtures: England kick off against Tonga
World Rugby and the Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee have announced the match schedule for Rugby World Cup 2019, which will be hosted in Japan between 20 September and 2 November.
New Zealand’s title defence will begin on 21 September when they take on Rugby World Cup 2007 winners South Africa in Yokohama (18:45). England, 2003 winners, open against Tonga in Sapporo on 22 September (19:15), while 1991 and 1999 champions Australia begin against Fiji in Sapporo on 21 September (13:45).
Supporting the joint ambition of a tournament that is accessible for all of Japan, the 48 matches will be spread across 12 host cities the length and breadth of the nation, with each match venue hosting a minimum of two matches.
The blend of iconic venues and vibrant host cities will provide a diversity of unforgettable cultural experiences for travelling fans, while 80 per cent of the Japanese population will be within 30 minutes of a match.
Japan Rugby 2019 also announced their vision for the tournament as a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity and with Japan preparing to host for the first time and excitement building, it is a compelling mantra.
The host nation will begin its campaign against Europe 1 in the tournament’s opening match at 19:45 at the Tokyo Stadium, venue for five pool matches, two quarter-finals and the bronze final.
With Japan’s biggest venues optimised, the iconic International Stadium in Yokohama will also be at the tournament’s heart with four pool matches, including New Zealand v South Africa, Ireland v Scotland, England v France and Japan v Scotland, while also hosting both semi-finals and the Rugby World Cup 2019 final on 2 November.