Everything you need to know ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup

Everything you need to know ahead of the 2019 Rugby […]

Everything you need to know ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup

The countdown to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan has already begun, with 20 teams preparing to battle it out for supremacy. New Zealand are the current holders and with three titles to their name, are the most successful team in World Cup history. Understandably, the Kiwis are the outright favourites to win the Rugby World Cup 2019 with Betfair Exchange. But ahead of the tournament, here’s all you need to know.

The format

Since the 2011 tournament, 12 of the available 20 positions have been filled by automatic qualification, with these teams seeded. The final eight places are decided by nations qualifying for the tournament and these places are decided by region – this year with Oceania and the Americas receiving two places; Africa and Europe, one place; and the final two places were occupied by the Americas and Oceania via a play-off.
When it comes down to the proper tournament, the 20 teams are split into four pools of five teams, with each team playing each other once. The bonus points system is in use during the pool stage of the tournament. The top two teams (winner and runner-up) from each pool then go through to the knock-out stages, contesting quarter-finals, semi-finals and ultimately, the final. The losers of the semi-final also battle it out for third place.

The hosts

Japan are this year’s Rugby World Cup hosts and not only is it the first time the country has hosted the tournament, it is also the first time it has been held in Asia. Matches will be played in 12 stadia, including on the islands of Hokkaido (Sapporo Dome) and Kyushu (Oita Bank Dome and Egao Kenko Stadium).
The opening match between Japan and Russia in Pool A will be contested at the Tokyo Stadium in Chōfu, with a capacity of 49,970; while it was announced that the final on Saturday 2nd November will be won (or lost) at the Yokohama Stadium in Kanagawa, which has a much larger capacity of 72,327.

The teams
Pool A

Ireland

World ranking: 3rd
Best finish: quarter-finals (1987, 1991, 1995, 2003, 2011, 2015)
Last World Cup finish: quarter-finals

Scotland

World ranking: 7th
Best finish: semi-finals (1991)
Last World Cup finish: quarter-finals

Japan

World ranking: 9th
Best finish: pools (1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015)
Last World Cup finish: pools

Russia

World ranking: 20th
Best finish: pools (2011)
Last World Cup finish: did not play

Samoa

World ranking: 16th
Best finish: quarter-finals (1991, 1995)
Last World Cup finish: pools

Pool B
New Zealand

World ranking: 1st

Best finish: winner (1987, 2011, 2015)
Last World Cup finish: winner

South Africa

World ranking: 5th
Best finish: winner (1995, 2007)
Last World Cup finish: bronze final

Italy

World ranking: 13th
Best finish: pools (1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015)
Last World Cup finish: pools

Namibia

World ranking: 23rd
Best finish: pools (1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015)
Last World Cup finish: pools

Canada

World ranking: 21st
Best finish: quarter-finals
Last World Cup finish: pools

Pool C

England

World ranking: 4th
Best finish: winner (2003)
Last World Cup finish: pools

France

World ranking: 8th
Best finish: runner-up (1987, 1999, 2011)
Last World Cup finish: quarter-finals

Argentina

World ranking: 11th
Best finish: semi-finals (2007, 2015)
Last World Cup finish: bronze final

USA

World ranking: 14th
Best finish: pools (1987, 1991, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015)
Last World Cup finish: pools

Tonga

World ranking: 15th
Best finish: pools (1987, 1995, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015)
Last World Cup finish: pools

Pool D

Australia

World ranking: 6th
Best finish: winner (1991, 1999)
Last World Cup finish: runner-up

Wales

World ranking: 2nd
Best finish: semi-finals (1987, 2011)
Last World Cup finish: quarter-finals

Georgia

World ranking: 12th
Best finish: pools (2003, 2007, 2011, 2015)
Last World Cup finish: pools

Fiji

World ranking: 10th
Best finish: quarter-finals (1987, 2007)
Last World Cup finish: pools

Uruguay

World ranking: 19th
Best finish: pools (1999, 2003, 2015)
Last World Cup finish: pools