The 2019 Rugby World Cup Schedule



The 2019 Rugby World Cup Schedule

The schedule and venues of all games of the next Rugby World Cup, which will take place in Japan in 2019, has been announced. The 9th instalment of the event will occur in Asia for the first time ever and feature 20 teams playing 48 matches across 12 venues. The tournament will kick off at Tokyo Stadium on September 20th and close with the grand final in Yokohama on November 2nd.

The previous tournament’s runners up, the Australian “Wallabies”, who are currently ranked 3rd in the world, will take on Fiji the day after the opening game on September 21st at Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido then meet Wales at Tokyo Stadium on September 29th, the Americas 2 team (Canada or Uruguay) at Oita Stadium on October 5th and finish their Pool League stage with a clash against Georgia at Shizuoka Stadium on October 11th.

In Pool B New Zealand, who are aiming to win the tournament for a historical third consecutive time,
will take on South Africa, a team which boasts 2 previous World Cup championships, in Yokohama on September 21st while Pool C features England, now coached by Eddie Jones who guided Japan in the last World Cup, battle with 3 time runners up France on October 12th in the same venue.

Furthermore, it’s been decided that 2 preliminary league matches will be played in Kamaishi city in Iwate Prefecture, the epicentre of the devastating Great East Japan earthquake of 2011.





– Words and Photography: Peter Gibson (Gullivers Sport Travel)


Kamaishi is a steel industry city of 35000 way up on the north-east coast of the main island of Japan. It holds a special place in Japanese rugby history winning seven national championships in a row back in the 70’s & 80’s. Kamaishi lost 1250 of its citizens and suffered severe damage when the earthquake and tsunami hit this area of Japan on March 11, 2011.

There will hardly be a dry eye in the house when Kamaishi hosts its first game of the Rugby World Cup at 2.15pm on Sept 25, 2019 at the newly built Recovery Memorial Stadium.

Rugby legend, Mark Ella, recently visited Kamaishi to show his and Australia’s support of Kamaishi. He was there as a part of the Aussie Beef Australia Japan Junior Rugby Festival and held a couple of rugby clinics for the children of Kamaishi.

Ella was shown first-hand about the disaster of 2011 and the recovery efforts of Kamaishi but to recover in time for the Rugby World Cup.


The junior rugby festival, supported by Aussie Beef, included Ella’s trip to Kamaishi with another ex-Wallaby, Justin Harrison and also a junior rugby exchange event held in Yokohama for over 300 kids including a team from Australia. The event was held the day before the historic test match between the Wallabies and Japan which set a new rugby crowd record of 43,000 and included exchange matches and clinics from ex-Wallabies such as Stirling Mortlock and ex-Japan National team players.

In 2019, the third biggest sporting event in the world will be played across 12 prefectures of Japan from Hokkaido n the north, to Kumamoto in the south. This will be its first time in Asia and the first outside the traditional rugby nations, and for 6 weeks it will be an experience not to be missed. “Japan is buzzing with rugby excitement. Not just for the games but for the rest of the activities and experiences that Japan offers,” said Ella.

“The phrase gets used widely but if you are a rugby fan or even just a sports fan then this rugby world cup is one that you really will not want to miss,” continues Ella.

If you are keen to attend the Rugby World Cup in Japan 2019 please contact the writer on peter@