The countdown to the Rugby World Cup 2019 has begun, with only 99 days to go before kick-off begins. This is Japan’s first time at hosting the event, and with an obvious home ground advantage. 12 Host cities across the nation will provide venues for each group. Local fans will be passionately cheering on the red and white in the hope for consecutive wins.
It is estimated Rugby fans alone have grown by 20% in the past in the last 4 years since the last World Cup. Japan expects over 400,000 global visitors just for the world cup. In addition, it has sold more than 100,000 tickets through global retail travel outlets.
Rugby World Cup 2019 – The Draw
20 International Teams will compete for the cup this year, in 4 Pools of 5 teams. Pool A is comprised of the host and local favourite, plus 2015’s 3rd Place getter Ireland. Pool B sees the 3 time World Cup champions the All Blacks (NZ), plus 2-time winners the Springbox (SA). We find both 2003 winners England and the fearless French in Pool C. Finally, twice world champions the Wallabies (AUS), plus 2015 Rugby World Cup Runner Up Wales make up Pool D.
The All Blacks are expected contenders again for this year’s world cup, seeded at No. 1 for this year’s tournament. Meanwhile, the Springbox and Wallabies are a serious threat too, as they are both 2-time cup winners. Wales, Ireland, England and French are all strong challenger and will put up a serious fight. Expect some serious competition between these major rivals.
Japan has the home ground advantage, but they are the underdogs in this competition. Their win over the muscle of South Africa in 2015’s Rugby World Cup was one of the biggest upsets of the last Championship. Hence, they will be looking for local support to bring home their opening match and continue that kind of momentum throughout the competition. We will see if the hosts have the upper hand at home very soon.
Kick off starts at Tokyo Stadium on September 20 from 7.45 JST (Japan standard time). The opening contenders being Japan vs their Russian rivals, with the home favourites hoping to start the cup off with a win. Regular pool matches will continue throughout September to Sunday, October 13. Then from Saturday, October 19 the quarterfinals will begin with each pool’s best performing teams.
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