Rugby World Cup: Countdown to Kickoff

2019 Rugby World Cup Schedule

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All the games for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, the first tournament to be held in Asia.

Bonus Points Important in Pool Matches

The 2019 Rugby World Cup features 20 teams. The top three finishers in each of the four pools at the 2015 World Cup qualified automatically, while the remaining teams won out in the qualifying stages.

In 2019, there are once again four pools of five teams, of which the top two will progress to the quarterfinals. Rugby has its own distinctive points system for the pool stage, as follows.

  • 4 points for a win
  • 2 points for a draw
  • 0 points for a loss
  • 1 bonus point for scoring 4 tries or more (regardless of the result)
  • 1 bonus point for a loss by 7 or fewer points

Despite a solid record of three victories from four pool matches in 2015, Japan failed to qualify for the quarterfinals due to scoring fewer bonus points than South Africa and Scotland. If teams finish the pool level on points, the order is decided based on the number of wins, losing bonus points, and try bonus points, respectively.

Scotland handed Japan its only defeat in the 2015 World Cup, a 45-10 drubbing. (Courtesy Rugby World Cup 2019 Organizing Committee)
Scotland handed Japan its only defeat in the 2015 World Cup, a 45-10 drubbing. (Courtesy Rugby World Cup 2019 Organizing Committee)

Pool Stage Teams

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
Ireland (1) New Zealand (2) England (3) Wales (5)
Scotland (7) South Africa (4) France (8) Australia (6)
Japan (10) Italy (14) Argentina (11) Fiji (9)
Russia (20) Namibia (23) United States (13) Georgia (12)
Samoa (16) Canada (22) Tonga (15) Uruguay (19)

World rankings, in parentheses, as of September 9, 2019.

Pool A Matches

  Date Kick-off City
Japan vs Russia September 20 7:45 pm Tokyo
Ireland vs Scotland September 22 4:45 pm Yokohama
Russia vs Samoa September 24 7:15 pm Kumagaya, Saitama
Japan vs Ireland September 28  4:15 pm Fukuroi, Shizuoka
Scotland vs Samoa September 30 7:15 pm Kobe
Ireland vs Russia October 3 7:15 pm Kobe
Japan vs Samoa October 5 7:30 pm Toyota, Aichi
Scotland vs Russia October 9 4:15 pm Fukuroi, Shizuoka
Ireland vs Samoa October 12 7:45 pm Fukuoka
Japan vs Scotland October 13 7:45 pm Yokohama

Pool B Matches

  Date Kick-off City
New Zealand vs South Africa September 21 6:45 pm Yokohama
Italy vs Namibia September 22 2:15 pm Higashiōsaka
Italy vs Canada September 26 4:45 pm Fukuoka
South Africa vs Namibia September 28 6:45 pm Toyota, Aichi
New Zealand vs Canada October 2 7:15 pm Ōita
South Africa vs Italy October 4 6:45 pm Fukuroi, Shizuoka
New Zealand vs Namibia October 6 1:45 pm Tokyo
South Africa vs Canada October 8 7:15 pm Kobe
New Zealand vs Italy October 12 1:45 pm Toyota, Aichi
Namibia vs Canada October 13 12:15 pm Kamaishi, Iwate

Pool C Matches

  Date Kick-off City
France vs Argentina September 21 4:15 pm Tokyo
England vs Tonga September 22 7:15 pm Sapporo
England vs United States September 26 7:45 pm Kobe
Argentina vs Tonga September 28 1:45 pm Higashiōsaka
France vs United States October 2 4:45 pm Fukuoka
England vs Argentina October 5 5:00 pm Tokyo
France vs Tonga October 6 4:45 pm Kumamoto
Argentina vs United States October 9 1:45 pm Kumagaya, Saitama
England vs France October 12 5:15 pm Yokohama
United States vs Tonga October 13 2:45 pm Higashiōsaka

Pool D Matches

  Date Kick-off City
Australia vs Fiji September 21 1:45 pm Sapporo
Wales vs Georgia September 23 7:15 pm Toyota, Aichi
Fiji vs Uruguay September 25 2:15 pm Kamaishi, Iwate
Georgia vs Uruguay September 29 2:15 pm Kumagaya, Saitama
Australia vs Wales September 29 4:45 pm Tokyo
Georgia vs Fiji October 3 2:15 pm Higashiōsaka
Australia vs Uruguay October 5 2:15 pm Ōita
Wales vs Fiji October 9 6:45 pm Ōita
Australia vs Georgia October 11 7:15 pm Fukuroi, Shizuoka
Wales vs Uruguay October 13 5:15 pm Kumamoto

Related article2019 Rugby World Cup: Match Venues and Host Cities

To the Winner, the Webb Ellis Cup

The knockout stage begins on October 19, and the winning team at the final, held on November 2 at International Stadium Yokohama, will be awarded the Webb Ellis Cup. New Zealand is playing for its third consecutive trophy. Time will tell whether the All Blacks, currently top of the world rankings, can fend off its rivals to win through again. Meanwhile, Japan will hope to make the quarterfinals, at least.

In the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the New Zealand All Blacks beat Australia to claim its second consecutive championship and third overall. (Courtesy Rugby World Cup 2019 Organizing Committee)
In the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the New Zealand All Blacks beat Australia to claim its second consecutive championship and third overall. (Courtesy Rugby World Cup 2019 Organizing Committee)

Quarterfinal Matches

  Date Kick-off City  
Quarterfinal 1 October 19 4:15 pm Ōita Winner Pool C vs Runner-Up Pool D
Quarterfinal 2 October 19 7:15 pm Tokyo Winner Pool B vs Runner-Up Pool A
Quarterfinal 3 October 20 4:15 pm Ōita Winner Pool D vs Runner-Up Pool C
Quarterfinal 4 October 20 7:15 pm Tokyo Winner Pool A vs Runner-Up Pool B

Semifinal Matches

  Date Kick-off City  
Semifinal 1 October 26 5:00 pm Yokohama Winner Quarterfinal 1 vs Winner Quarterfinal 2
Semifinal 2 October 27 6:00 pm Yokohama Winner Quarterfinal 3 vs Winner Quarterfinal 4

Bronze Final

  Date Kick-off City
Loser Semifinal 1 vs Loser Semifinal 2 November 1 6:00 pm  Tokyo

Final

  Date Kick-off City
Winner Semifinal 1 vs Winner Semifinal 2 November 2 6:00 pm Yokohama

The Japan team celebrates beating the US team in its final 2015 pool match, even though it was not enough to reach the knockout stage. (© Jiji)
The Japan team celebrates beating the US team in its final 2015 pool match, even though it was not enough to reach the knockout stage. (© Jiji)

(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo: Michael Leitch, captain of the Japan team, and other members pose in new jerseys at a press conference in July 2019. © Jiji.)

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