The 2019 Rugby World Cup Tournament – Which Pools are the Home Nations in?
The 2019 Rugby World Cup is scheduled to start on Friday 20 September, and the national English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh rugby union squads will all be in Japan, hoping to win the Webb Ellis Cup. In order to progress to the knockout stages of the competition, they’ll first need to finish first or second in their respective pools – so who will they need to beat?
Ireland and Scotland – Pool A
Ireland and Scotland have been drawn in Pool A and will face each other in their opening match, which takes place at the International Stadium Yokohama on Sunday 22 September.
Ireland, who are currently the world’s top-ranking team, will then take on the hosts, Japan, in Fukuroi City’s Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa on the following Saturday. Their next opponents will be Russia, who are taking part in the tournament for only the second time, with the teams meeting at the Kobe Misaki Stadium in Kobe City on Thursday 3 October. Finally, on Saturday 12 October, they’ll head to Fukuoka City, where they’ll play Samoa at the Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium.
Scotland’s second match, meanwhile, takes place at the Kobe Misaki Stadium on Monday 30 September; they’ll face Samoa, who last made it into the quarter-finals in 1995. They’ll then play the Russians at the Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa on Wednesday 09 October, before returning to the International Stadium Yokohama on Sunday 13 October, where they’ll take on Japan.
England – Pool C
If England want to win the world’s most famous rugby trophy for the second time in the tournament’s history, they’ll first need to make their way out of Pool C. The first team standing in their way is Tonga, who they’ll play on Sunday 22 September at the Sapporo Dome. They’ll then travel to the Kobe Misaki Stadium, where they’ll take on the USA on Thursday 26 September.
The squad will then face Argentina at the Tokyo Stadium in Japan’s capital city on Saturday 05 October, before taking on France, who have finished second in the championship on three occasions, at the International Stadium Yokohama on Saturday 12 October.
Wales – Pool D
Warren Gatland’s men will kick their campaign off at the City of Toyota Stadium in Toyota on Monday 23 September, playing Georgia. They’ll then face what, on paper, will be their toughest pool stage challenge, a match against Australia, the 1991 and 1999 world champions, at the Tokyo Stadium on Sunday 29 September. Their opponents in their penultimate fixture of the pool stage will be Fiji, with the tie taking place at the Oita Stadium in the Oita Prefecture on Wednesday 09 October. Finally, on Sunday 13 October, they’ll play Uruguay at the Kumamoto Stadium in Kumamoto City.
A Brief Guide to Pool B
The only pool not to feature a home nations side is Pool B, which includes: reigning champions and three-time trophy winners, New Zealand; two-time tournament victors South Africa; Italy, who have never made it through the pool stage of the tournament; Namibia, who have never won a World Cup match; and Canada, whose most successful World Cup outing was in 1991, when they made it into the quarter-finals.
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