Rugby Union

Ireland v Scotland in their opening game at 2019 Rugby World Cup in Yokohama

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt 
Andrew Baldock

Pool A rivals Ireland and Scotland face each other on September 22 in their opening game in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Yokohama, Japan.

Ireland's appointment with Japan is in Shizuoka on September 28, then they take on Europe 1 in Kobe five days later, followed by the play-off winner at Fukuoka Stadium on October 12.

The tournament's 48 games will be spread across 12 cities, with each venue hosting a minimum of two matches.

Yokohama's International Stadium stages four pool matches, in addition to both semi-finals, and then the final on November 2.

After tackling Ireland, Scotland meet the yet to be decided play-off winners in Kobe on September 30, then go to Shizuoka to tackle the Europe 1 qualifiers, possibly Romania, before on October 13 facing Japan, who play in the tournament's opening game against Europe 1 on September 20.

Pool D challengers Wales tackle Georgia first-up at the City of Toyota Stadium on September 23.

Meanwhile, England will face a four-day turnaround and a two-hour flight between their opening games 

The match schedule sees England begin their quest for a first world title since 2003 against Tonga in Sapporo on September 22.

They then face the United States 660 miles south of Sapporo on September 26 in Kobe, before a longer preparation period takes them into pivotal Pool C fixtures against Argentina in Tokyo on October 5 and then France a week later in Yokohama.

England head coach Eddie Jones said in a statement released by England Rugby: "Rugby World Cup 2019 will be a brilliant experience for rugby supporters who travel to Japan.

"Our aim is to win Rugby World Cup 2019, and the support for the team will be an important factor.

"We hope to see as many England fans as possible getting behind us in Japan as we try to achieve our ultimate goal, while also enjoying the atmosphere in what will be a fantastic tournament."

The 2019 match schedule was announced in Japan on Thursday, with the opening round of pool fixture clashes also featuring a heavyweight clash between reigning world champions New Zealand and their Rugby Championship rivals South Africa.

Wales' potentially-pivotal encounter against Australia is in Tokyo on September 29.

Wales, World Cup semi-finalists six years ago, then meet Fiji in Oita on October 9, followed by the Americas 2 qualifier, possibly Canada, at Kumamoto Stadium four days later.

Wales head coach Warren Gatland said: "It is good to have the full details announced as the excitement for the tournament continues to grow.

"We have spoken recently about our aims and belief for 2019 and how our focus over the next two years is to provide a platform for us to peak in Japan.

"We kick off the tournament against Georgia before facing Australia, both of whom we play this November in Cardiff. We then have a good block of time before facing Fiji in Oita, before the short turnaround before our final pool encounter versus Americas 2.

"We have four cities to visit so it is important we buy into the culture of Japan and the tournament."

Games will kick off no later than 7.45pm local time, while no tier-two team will play against a tier-one nation following a short rest period.

MATCH SCHEDULE FOR 2019 RUGBY WORLD CUP IN JAPAN

(All kick-offs GMT)

SEPTEMBER

20th: Pool A - Japan v Europe 1, Tokyo Stadium, 1145.

21: Pool D - Australia v Fiji, Sapporo Dome, 0545.

21: Pool C - France v Argentina, Tokyo Stadium, 0815.

21: Pool B - New Zealand v South Africa, Yokohama International Stadium, 1045.

22: Pool B - Italy v Africa 1, Hanazono Stadium, Osaka, 0615.

22: Pool A - Ireland v Scotland, Yokohama International Stadium, 0845.

22: Pool C - England v Tonga, Sapporo Dome, 1115.

23: Pool D - Wales v Georgia, City of Toyota Stadium, 1115.

24: Pool A - Europe 1 v Play-off winner, Kumagaya Rugby Grounds, 1115.

25: Pool D - Fiji v Americas 2, Kamaishi Memorial Stadium, 0615.

26: Pool B - Italy v Repechage winner, Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka, 0845.

26: Pool C - England v USA, Kobe Misaki Stadium, 1145.

28: Pool C - Argentina v Tonga, Hanazono Stadium, Osaka, 0545.

28: Pool A - Japan v Ireland, Shizuoka Stadium, 0815.

28: Pool B - South Africa v Africa 1, City of Toyota Stadium, 1045.

29: Pool D - Georgia v Americas 2, Kumagaya Rugby Grounds, 0615.

29: Pool D - Australia v Wales, Tokyo Stadium, 0845.

30: Pool A - Scotland v Play-off winner, Kobe Misaki Stadium, 1115.

OCTOBER

2: Pool C - France v USA, Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka, 0845.

2: Pool B - New Zealand v Repechage winner, Oita Stadium, 1115.

3: Pool D - Georgia v Fiji, Hanazono Stadium, Osaka, 0615.

3: Pool A - Ireland v Europe 1, Kobe Misaki Stadium, 1115.

4: Pool B - South Africa v Italy, Shizuoka Stadium, 1045.

5: Pool D - Australia v Americas 2, Oita Stadium, 0615.

5: Pool C - England v Argentina, Tokyo Stadium, 0900.

5: Pool A - Japan v Play-off winner, City of Toyota Stadium, 1130.

6: Pool B - New Zealand v Africa 1, Tokyo Stadium, 0545.

6: Pool C - France v Tonga, Kumamoto Stadium, 0845.

8: Pool B - South Africa v Repechage winner, Kobe Misaki Stadium, 1115.

9: Pool C - Argentina v USA, Kumagaya Rugby Grounds, 0545.

9: Pool A - Scotland v Europe 1, Shizuoka Stadium, 0815.

9: Pool D - Wales v Fiji, Oita Stadium, 1045.

11: Pool D - Australia v Georgia, Shizuoka Stadium, 1115.

12: Pool B - New Zealand v Italy, City of Toyota Stadium, 0545.

12: Pool C - England v France, Yokohama International Stadium, 0915.

12: Pool A - Ireland v Play-off winner, Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka, 1145.

13: Pool B - Africa 1 v Repechage winner, Kamaishi Memorial Stadium, 0415.

13: Pool C - USA v Tonga, Hanazono Stadium, Osaka, 0645.

13: Pool D - Wales v Americas 2, Kumamoto Stadium, 0915.

13: Pool A - Japan v Scotland, Yokohama International Stadium, 1145.

19: Quarter-final (winner Pool C v runner-up Pool D), Oita Stadium, 0815.

19: Quarter-final (winner Pool B v runner-up Pool A), Tokyo Stadium, 1115.

20: Quarter-final (winner Pool D v runner-up Pool C), Oita Stadium, 0815.

20: Quarter-final (winner Pool A v runner-up Pool B), Tokyo Stadium, 1115.

26: Semi-final (winner quarter-final 1 v winner quarter-final 2), Yokohama International Stadium, 0900.

27 - Semi-final (winner quarter-final 3 v winner quarter-final 4), Yokohama International Stadium, 0900.

NOVEMBER

1: Bronze final, Tokyo Stadium, 0900.

2: Final, Yokohama International Stadium, 0900.

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