2019 Rugby World Cup lowdown: Dates, fixtures and how to watch in the UAE

Japan hosts the first ever Rugby World Cup in Asia, starting on September 20

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The ninth Rugby World Cup, and the first ever in Asia, starts when hosts Japan play Russia in Tokyo on Friday, September 20.

The competition involves 20 sides, and comprises 48 matches, played in 12 venues across three islands in Japan.

New Zealand will be bidding to make it three World Cup titles in a row, after winning on home soil eight years ago, then again in England in 2015.

The All Blacks were recently toppled from the No 1 spot in the world rankings by Wales, who will be looking to become just the second side from the northern hemisphere – after England in 2003 – to win the Webb Ellis Cup.

South Africa will be hoping to continue their sequence of winning every third World Cup, while Ireland, England, France and Australia will all consider themselves contenders, too.


  • Pool A – Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia, Samoa
  • Pool B – New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada
  • Pool C – England, France, Argentina, United States, Tonga
  • Pool D – Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Uruguay


All matches will be broadcast in the Mena region by BeIN Sports

Fixtures (all kick offs are UAE times)

Friday, September 20

2.45pm – Japan v Russia

Saturday, September 21

8.45am – Australia v Fiji

11.15am – France v Argentina

1.45pm – New Zealand v South Africa

Sunday, September 22

9.15am – Italy v Namibia

11.45am – Ireland v Scotland

2.15pm – England v Tonga

Monday, September 23

2.15pm – Wales v Georgia

Tuesday, September 24

2.15pm – Russia v Samoa

Wednesday, September 25

9.15am – Fiji v Uruguay

Thursday, September 26

11.45am – Italy v Canada

2.45pm – England v United States

Saturday, September 28

8.45am – Argentina v Tonga

11.15am – Japan v Ireland

1.45pm – South Africa v Namibia

Sunday, September 29

9.15am – Georgia v Uruguay

11.45am – Australia v Wales

Monday, September 30

2.15pm – Scotland v Samoa

Wednesday, October 2

11.45am – France v United States

2.15pm – New Zealand v Canada

Thursday, October 3

9.15am – Georgia v Fiji

2.15pm – Ireland v Russia

Friday, October 4

1.45pm – South Africa v Italy

Saturday, October 5

9.15am – Australia v Uruguay

12pm – England v Argentina

2.30pm – Japan v Samoa

Sunday, October 6

8.45am – New Zealand v Namibia

11.45am – France v Tonga

Tuesday, October 8

2.15pm – South Africa v Canada

Wednesday, October 9

8.45am – Argentina v United States

11.15am – Scotland v Russia

1.45pm – Wales v Fiji

Friday, October 11

2.15pm – Australia v Georgia

Saturday, October 12

8.45am – New Zealand v Italy

12.15pm – England v France

2.45pm – Ireland v Samoa

Sunday, October 13

7.15am – Namibia v Canada

9.45am – United States v Tonga

12.15pm – Wales v Uruguay

2.45pm – Japan v Scotland

Saturday, October 19

11.15am – Quarterfinal 1: Winner Pool C v Runner up Pool D

2.15pm – Quarterfinal 2: Winner Pool B v Runner up Pool A

Sunday, October 20

11.15am – Quarterfinal 3: Winner Pool D v Runner up Pool C

2.15pm – Quarterfinal 4: Winner Pool A v Runner up Pool B

Saturday, October 26

12pm – Semifinal 1: Winner quarterfinal 1 v Winner quarterfinal 2

Sunday, October 27

1pm – Semifinal 2: Winner quarterfinal 3 v Winner quarterfinal 4

Friday, November 1

1pm – Bronze final

Saturday, November 2

1pm - Final

Past winners (Host country in brackets)

1987 – New Zealand (New Zealand)

1991 – Australia (England)

1995 – South Africa (South Africa)

1999 – Australia (Wales)

2003 – England (Australia)

2007 – South Africa (France)

2011 – New Zealand (New Zealand)

2015 – New Zealand (England)