7 Sep 2018

Rugby World Cup: The Facts

3:40 pm on 7 September 2018
All Blacks haka

All Blacks haka Photo: Photosport

Interested in the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019? Here's 12 things you need to know.

Where will the next Rugby World Cup be held?

The Rugby World Cup is held every four years. The last one in 2015 was held in England. The 2019 Cup will be hosted by Japan.

The Rugby World cup in Japan will be held in 12 venues around the country.

The opening match, between hosts Japan and Russia, will be held in Chofu, Tokyo at the Tokyo Stadium. The final will be held at the International Stadium Yokohama.

When will the Rugby World Cup be held?

The opening match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup will be held on Friday, September 20. Kick-off in Tokyo will be 7.45pm.

The kick-off in local times will be:

Auckland: Friday 10.45pm

Sydney: Friday 8.45pm

Apia: Friday 11.45pm

Nuku'alofa: Friday 11.45pm

Suva: Friday 10.45pm

London: Friday 11.45am

Dublin: Friday 11.45am

Moscow: Friday 1.45pm

Paris: Friday 12.45pm

Johannesburg: Friday 12.45pm

Cape Town: Friday 12.45pm

Honolulu: Friday 12.45am

New York: Friday 6.45am

Los Angeles: Friday 3.45am

When will the final of the Rugby World Cup be held?

The final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup will be held in Yokohama on Saturday, November 2 at 6pm.

The kick-off in local times will be:

Auckland: Saturday 10pm

Sydney: Saturday 8pm

Apia: Saturday 11pm

Nuku'alofa: Saturday 10pm

Suva: Saturday 9pm

London: Saturday 9am

Dublin: Saturday 9am

Paris: Saturday 10am

Moscow: Saturday 12 noon

Johannesburg: Saturday 11am

Cape Town: Saturday 11am

Honolulu: Friday 11pm

New York; Saturday 5am

Los Angeles: Saturday 2am

For more, check out our Rugby World Cup page

How many times have the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup?

The All Blacks have won the Rugby World Cup three times; 1987, 2011 and 2015.

The Rugby World Cup in Japan will be their chance to win a fourth title and a third in a row. The All Blacks, or ABs as they are known, are the team with the most wins at the World Cup.

The All Black haka is performed before every test match.

The All Black haka is performed before every test match. Photo: PhotoSport

Who has won the Rugby World Cup?

Besides the All Blacks' three victories in 1987, 2011 and 2015, three other countries have won a World Cup: South Africa, twice (1995, 2007), Australia, twice (1991, 1999) and England, once (2003).

The finals have been:

1987: New Zealand v France, 29-9

1991: Australia v England 12-6

1995: South Africa v New Zealand 15-12

1999: Australia v France 35-12

2003: England v Australia 20-17

2007: South Africa v England 15-6

2011: New Zealand v France 8-7

2015: New Zealand v Australia 34-17

New Zealand and Australia have been in the finals four times. France and England have been finalists three times, though France has always been on the losing side of the results. South Africa has a 100 percent record for its two finals appearances.

Who will the All Blacks play in the pool stages of the Rugby World Cup?

The All Blacks have never lost a game in the pool stages of any of the eight Rugby World Cups so far.

In the 2019 Cup, the All Blacks are drawn in Pool B with South Africa, Italy, Namibia and one more country still to qualify.

The All Blacks will play:

South Africa on Saturday September 21 at 6.45pm at the Yokohama Stadium.

It will be Saturday 9.45pm in New Zealand.

A final qualifying country on Wednesday October 2 at 7.15pm in the City of Toyota Stadium.

It will be Wednesday 11.15pm in New Zealand.

Namibia on Sunday October 6 at 1.45pm in the Tokyo Stadium.

It will be Sunday 5.45pm in New Zealand.

Italy on Saturday October 12 at 1.45pm in the City of Toyota stadium.

It will be Saturday 5.45pm in New Zealand.

Is there a "pool of death" at the 2019 Rugby World Cup?

The pick of the pools could be Pools A and C.

Pool A pits Ireland (ranked second in the world) against Scotland (6) and hosts Japan (11) as well as Samoa (16) and Russia (19).

Pool C has England (4), France (8) and Argentina (9) up against Tonga (12) and the USA (15).

Only two from each pool can progress through to the quarter-finals. So in these two pools at least one or two top-ranked sides may not go through.

How often is the Rugby World Cup held?

The Cup is played for every four years. Winners are awarded the Webb Ellis Cup. It is named for William Webb Ellis who is said to have invented rugby by picking up and running with the ball during a soccer match.

Is there a Women's Rugby World Cup?

Yes, the Women's Rugby World Cup is held every four years. The next tournament is scheduled for 2021 but the host has yet to be decided.

New Zealand won the 2017 Women's World Rugby Cup, beating England 41-32.

New Zealand is the most successful women's world rugby team, winning five Cups. England have won twice and the United States once.

Who are the main countries to watch?

The big question for New Zealanders is whether the All Blacks can win again, making it three Cups in a row. They are the only team to win two in a row (2011 and 2015). Until then the Cup had been shared around.

There will also be big interest in how the Pacific island teams perform. Fiji, [https://www.radionz.co.nz/tags/Samoa%20Rugby%20Union Samoa and Tonga have all had their moments at previous Cups. Many will be hoping Japan 2019 will be their time.

Samoa perform the Siva Tau at the World Rugby U20 Championship.

Samoa perform the Siva Tau at the World Rugby U20 Championship. Photo: Lasha Kuprashvili / World Rugby

Of the Northern Hemisphere teams, Ireland, the world number two are a superb team and have been steadily improving all decade, though they have never made it past a quarter-final in the Cup.

As always, England will be a team to watch, sometimes for all the wrong reasons. They have been winners (2003), beaten finalists (1991 and 2007) but also last Cup they failed to make even the knock-out stages and in 2011 were pretty dismal in losing in the quarter-finals.

Then, of course, there are the perennial performers of world rugby to watch - Australia, Wales, South Africa, Argentina - and the perennial unpredictable performers - France - as well.

Another to watch could be hosts Japan. They are in a difficult group - Pool A with Ireland, Scotland, Samoa and Russia - but they have been among the big improvers in world rugby.

How does the Rugby World Cup work?

There are 20 teams at the Cup.

They are: Ireland, Scotland, Russia, Japan, Samoa, New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia, Italy, England, France, USA, Tonga, Argentina, Australia, Wales, Fiji, Uruguay, Georgia, plus another side yet to be named.

There are four pools of five countries. Sides play all the others in their pool play. The top two in each pool go into the knock-out stages.

Teams progress through quarter-finals to semi-finals and then to a final, if successful. There is also a third and fourth play-off for the bronze medal for the losing semi-finalist.

Israel Folau in action for the Wallabies.

Israel Folau in action for the Wallabies. Photo: PhotoSport

What are the venues for the Rugby World Cup in Japan?

The 2019 RWC will be played in 12 different venues spread around Japan.

The opening match will be played at Tokyo Stadium. The finals will be at Yokohama Stadium, Kanagawa.

Check out the venues here

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