2019 Rugby World Cup

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2019 Rugby World Cup
2019 Rugby World Cup (logo).svg
Once in a Lifetime (English)
四年に一度じゃない。一生に一度だ (Japanese) (Not once every four years. Once in a lifetime.)
Tournament details
Host nationFlag of Japan.svg  Japan
Dates20 September – 2 November
No. of nations20 (93 qualifying)
Final positions
Champions   Gold medal blank.svg Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa (3rd title)
Runner-up  Silver medal blank.svg Flag of England.svg  England
Third place  Bronze medal blank.svg Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Tournament statistics
Matches played45
Attendance1,698,528 (37,745 per match)
Tries scored285 (average 6.33 per match)
Top scorer(s) Flag of South Africa.svg Handré Pollard (69)
Most tries Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg Josh Adams (7)
Points scored2,196 (average 48.8 per match)

The 2019 Rugby World Cup was the ninth edition of the Rugby World Cup, the quadrennial world championship for men's rugby union teams. It was hosted in Japan from 20 September to 2 November in 12 venues all across the country. The opening match was played at Ajinomoto Stadium in Chōfu, Tokyo, with the final match being held at International Stadium Yokohama in Yokohama. This was the first time that the tournament had taken place in Asia and outside the traditional Tier 1 rugby nations.


The tournament saw the first cancellation of matches at the Rugby World Cup with Typhoon Hagibis affecting three matches due to the expected impact on safety that the typhoon would have.

South Africa beat England 32−12 in the final to claim their third title, equalling New Zealand's record. In doing so, South Africa became the first team to win the title after losing a match in the pool stage. The defending champions, New Zealand, finished third after defeating Wales in the bronze final.

Host country selection

The International Rugby Board (IRB) requested that any members wishing to host the 2015 Rugby World Cup and/or the 2019 event should indicate their interest by 15 August 2008, though no details had to be provided at that stage. A record 10 unions responded, with the 2019 tournament of interest to nine nations. [1] Russia initially announced plans to bid for both events, but withdrew both in February 2009 in favour of what proved to be a successful bid for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens. [2] [3] Australia withdrew from the bidding process on 6 May 2009. [4]

The three potential hosts – Italy, Japan and South Africa – were announced on 8 May 2009. [5] At a special meeting held in Dublin on 28 July 2009, the IRB confirmed that England would be hosts in 2015 and Japan in 2019, with the approval of the tournament organisers Rugby World Cup Ltd (RWC Ltd), going in favour 16–10. [6]


The IRB (which was renamed World Rugby in November 2014), RWC Ltd, the Japan Rugby Football Union (JRFU) and host organisers Japan 2019 went through a process of asking for expressions of interest and meeting with and explaining game hosting requirements to interested parties from late 2013. In May 2014, it was announced that 22 municipal and prefectural organisations across Japan had expressed interest. Those organisations were asked to enter formal bids by 31 October 2014. On 5 November, organisers announced that 14 bids had been received. Hong Kong and Singapore had expressed interest in hosting some of the matches and were included in Japan's bid, [7] but were not among the 14 stadiums announced in 2014. Nissan Stadium in Yokohama, venue for the 2002 FIFA World Cup Final and Niigata's Denka Big Swan Stadium, also a World Cup venue, decided not to bid.

Several changes to the venues submitted in the JRFU's original 2009 bid were made. The JRFU's own Chichibunomiya Stadium in Tokyo, suitable for smaller interest games in the capital, was not included in the plan. The JRFU selected the larger and more modern 50,000-seat Nagai multi-purpose stadium as its preferred venue for games in Osaka, though East Osaka City, which had taken over the Hanazono Rugby Stadium from long-time corporate owners Kintetsu in April 2015, submitted a joint bid with Osaka Municipality, intending to refurbish the stadium. Kamaishi, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Ōita, Nagasaki and Kumamoto were also not part of the JRFU's bid. While the bids included venues from a broad area of Japan, two areas were not involved in hosting: Hokushin'etsu (Hokuriku and Kōshin'etsu regions), which includes the city of Niigata; and the Chūgoku region, which includes Hiroshima and the nearby island of Shikoku. No city in Chūgoku hosted games at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, but Hiroshima did host games in the 2006 FIBA World Championship.[ citation needed ]

The new National Stadium in Tokyo being constructed for the 2020 Summer Olympics was expected to be the primary venue of the tournament. However, the original plans were scrapped and rebid in 2015 due to criticism over its design and increasing costs. As a consequence, it would no longer be completed in time. [8] The fixtures assigned to the stadium were re-located, with the opening match moved to Ajinomoto Stadium and the final moved to Nissan Stadium in Yokohama. [9]

Yokohama Fukuroi Chōfu (Tokyo) Toyota Sapporo
International Stadium Yokohama Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa Tokyo Stadium City of Toyota Stadium Sapporo Dome
Capacity: 72,327Capacity: 50,889Capacity: 49,970Capacity: 45,000Capacity: 41,410
International Stadium Yokohama-1.jpg Ecopa030304.jpg Ajinomoto Stadium 2018-13.jpg Nagoya Grampus game in Toyota Stadium 100814.JPG Sapporo Dome 001.jpeg
Ōita Kobe
Oita Stadium Kobe Misaki Stadium
Capacity: 40,000Capacity: 30,132
Ooita Stadium20090514.jpg Inside View of Kobe Wing Stadium.jpg
Higashiōsaka Kumamoto Kumagaya Fukuoka Kamaishi
Hanazono Rugby Stadium Kumamoto Stadium Kumagaya Rugby Stadium Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium
Capacity: 24,100Capacity: 32,000Capacity: 24,000Capacity: 20,049Capacity: 16,020
Higashi Osaka Hanazono Rugby Stadium ground.jpg Kumamoto Stadium 2015.jpg Kumagayarugby-07.JPG reberuhuaibusutaziamu3.JPG Fu Shi Ti Zhu Ju Fu Xing sutaziamu.jpg


Qualification illustrated 2019 Rugby World Cup Qualifying Process Diagram.svg
Qualification illustrated
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Did not qualify

Did not enter or not a World Rugby full member 2019 Rugby World Cup Qualifying.png
  Qualified    Did not qualify

The top three teams from the pools at the 2015 World Cup received an automatic spot, with the remaining eight teams coming from the qualifying series around the world. Six of the remaining eight spots available were filled by regional qualifiers with the additional two spots being filled in play-off. Qualifying was split into five regional groups; Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. [10]

On 1 July 2017, the United States became the first team to qualify after defeating Canada in the two-leg match to qualify as America 1. [11] The following two weeks saw Fiji and Tonga booking their spots as Oceania 1 and 2 respectively. [12] Samoa later confirmed their spot as the third Oceanic team with a win over Germany in a two-legged tie the following year. [13] In January 2018, Uruguay became the fourth team to qualify with a 10-point victory over Canada across the two legs to book a spot as Americas 2. [14]

In March, Romania initially qualified to take the spot as Europe 1. [15] But after complaints from the Spanish into an investigation of ineligible players, it was deemed that Romania, Spain and Belgium all broke the eligibility rules and was deducted points which meant Russia qualified through to the World Cup while Germany headed to the play-off against Samoa. [16] In August, Namibia became the final team to qualify from the continental tournaments after defeating Kenya in the final round of the Rugby Africa Gold Cup. [17] The final spot was decided by a repechage tournament in Marseille in November 2018, which was won by Canada after winning all three of their games. [18]

Qualifying teams
Previous best result World
Africa Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa Automatic6Champions(1995, 2007)4
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia Africa 15Pool stage23
Americas North Flag of the United States.svg  United States Americas 17Pool stage13
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Repechage8Quarter-finals (1991)22
Asia Flag of Japan.svg  Japan Hosts8Pool stage10
Europe Flag of England.svg  England Automatic8Champions(2003)3
Flag of France.svg  France Automatic8Runners-up (1987, 1999, 2011)8
Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Automatic4Pool stage12
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Automatic8Quarter-finals (six times)1
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Automatic8Pool stage14
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Europe 11Pool stage20
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland Automatic8Fourth place (1991)7
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Automatic8Third place (1987)5
Oceania Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia Automatic8Champions(1991, 1999)6
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji Oceania 17Quarter-finals (1987, 2007)9
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand Automatic8Champions(1987, 2011, 2015)2
Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa Play-off winner7Quarter-finals (1991, 1995)16
Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga Oceania 27Pool stage15
Sudamérica Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Automatic8Third place (2007)11
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay Americas 23Pool stage19


The pool draw took place [19] on 10 May 2017, in Kyoto. [20] The draw was moved from its traditional place of December in the year following the previous World Cup, after the November internationals, so that nations had a longer period of time to increase their world rankings ahead of the draw. [21]

The seeding system from previous Rugby World Cups was retained with the 12 automatic qualifiers from 2015 being allocated to their respective bands based on their World Rugby Rankings on the day of the draw:

The remaining two bands were made up of the eight qualifying teams, with allocation to each band being based on the previous Rugby World Cup playing strength:

This meant the 20 teams, qualified and qualifiers, were seeded thus (world ranking as of 10 May 2017):

Band 1Band 2Band 3Band 4Band 5

The draw saw a representative randomly draw a ball from a pot; the first drawn ball went to Pool A, the second Pool B, the third Pool C and the fourth Pool D.


Each team submitted a squad of 31 players for the tournament, the same as the 2015 tournament. These squads were to be submitted to World Rugby with the deadline being 8 September with the United States being the last team to reveal their squad on 6 September. [22] [23]

Match officials

World Rugby named the following 12 referees, seven assistant referees and four television match officials to handle the 48 matches: [24]

Opening ceremony

Dancers at the opening ceremony Rugby World Cup 190920d10.jpg
Dancers at the opening ceremony
A model of Mount Fuji at the opening ceremony with the teams in the finals being introduced Rugby World Cup 190920f2.jpg
A model of Mount Fuji at the opening ceremony with the teams in the finals being introduced

The opening ceremony took place at Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo on 20 September 2019 at 18:30 (JST). [25] The ceremony featured a showcase of traditional and modern Japanese culture, as well as the culture of rugby union, and told the story of the evolution of rugby union in Japan. [26] New Zealand's Richie McCaw, who captained the All Blacks to the World Cup title in 2015, performed a ceremonial handover of the Webb Ellis Cup. [27] Six jet aircraft of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force's Blue Impulse aerobatic team flew over the stadium. [28] Kiyoe Yoshioka of Japanese pop-rock band Ikimono-gakari sang World in Union , the official song of the Rugby World Cup. [29] The tournament was officially declared open by Fumihito, Prince Akishino of Japan; both he and World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont gave speeches at the end of the ceremony, with Beaumont saying: [30]

"Over the next six weeks we will experience the very best of rugby and the very best of Japan as excitement sweeps this great nation. I know Japan will be the most welcoming of hosts, you are the best. The waiting is over and the stage is set. It’s now over to the teams and the fans to make this the best World Cup ever."

Pool stage

The 20 teams are divided into four pools of five teams. Each pool is a single round-robin of 10 games, in which each team plays one match against each of the other teams in the same pool. Teams are awarded four league points for a win, two for a draw and none for a defeat. A team scoring four tries in a match is awarded a bonus point, as is a team that loses by seven points or fewer – both bonus points are awarded if both situations apply. The teams finishing in the top two of each pool advance to the quarter-finals. [31] The top three teams of each pool received automatic qualification to the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Tie-breaking criteria

If two or more teams are tied on match points, the following tiebreakers apply:

  1. The winner of the match between the two teams
  2. Difference between points scored for and points scored against in all pool matches
  3. Difference between tries scored for and tries scored against in all pool matches
  4. Points scored in all pool matches
  5. Most tries scored in all pool matches
  6. Official World Rugby Rankings as of 14 October 2019

If three teams were tied on points, the above criteria would be used to decide first place in the pool and then the criteria would be used again (starting from criterion 1) to decide second place in the pool. [31]

Key to colours in pool tables
Advanced to the quarter-finals and qualified for the 2023 Rugby World Cup
Eliminated but qualified for 2023 Rugby World Cup

Pld = Number of games played; W = Number of games won; D = Number of games drawn; L = Number of games lost; TF = Number of tries scored (tries for); PF = Total number of points scored by the team (points for); PA = Total number of points scored against the team (points against); +/− = Points difference, PF−PA; BP = Bonus pool points; Pts = Total number of pool points

Pool A

Japan taking on Russia at Tokyo Stadium, Chofu. Rugby World Cup 190920a1.jpg
Japan taking on Russia at Tokyo Stadium, Chōfu.
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 44001311562+53319
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 43011812127+94416
Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland 42021611955+64311
Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa 4103858128–7015
Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 4004119160–14100

The opening match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup was played in Pool A with Japan scoring a 30–10 win over Russia. Kotaro Matsushima became the first Japanese player to score a hat-trick at a World Cup. For the Russian side, Kirill Golosnitsky scored the first try of the tournament after four minutes – the fastest try ever scored in the opening match of a World Cup. [32] Two days later, Ireland defeated Scotland 27–3. [33] On 24 September, Samoa played their first match against Russia in Kumagaya. Despite Samoa's being reduced to 13 men after Rey Lee-Lo and Motu Matu'u were sin-binned within two minutes of each other, Russia could not capitalise on their advantage and Samoa went on to win 34–9. [34] Four days later, hosts Japan defeated Ireland 19–12, scoring four out of six penalties. While it was an upset win for Japan, World Rugby later admitted three of the four offside penalties were incorrectly awarded to Japan. [35] [36] Kenki Fukuoka scored a try in the 58th minute to give Japan a two-point lead after Ireland's Garry Ringrose and Rob Kearney had scored the opening two tries. Yu Tamura's conversion and fourth successful penalty kick sealed the result for Japan. [37] Scotland recorded their first victory of the World Cup with a 34–0 whitewash victory over Samoa in muggy conditions in Kobe, with Samoan captain Jack Lam stating that the rugby ball was "a bar of soap." [38]

Three days later, Kobe Misaki Stadium held another match in Pool A – this time it was Ireland, who whitewashed their opponents (Russia) in a 35–0 victory with five different players getting tries for the Irish. The Irish though, did not have everything go right with Jordi Murphy being subbed off in the 27th minute due to a possible rib injury, which added to the Irish back row pain after losing Jack Conan earlier in the tournament. [39] Japan recorded their third victory over Samoa in Toyota with a 85th minute try from Kotaro Matsushima sealing the Japanese a 38–19 bonus point victory. [40] Russia in the final match of the tournament was hammered by Scotland 61–0 with George Horne scoring a hat-trick as the Scots became the first team in World Cup history to not a concede a point from two World Cup matches. [41] A red card to Bundee Aki in the 29th minute forced Ireland to go down to 14 men but that was the only blemish with Ireland winning 47–5 over Samoa in Fukuoka. Johnny Sexton scoring two tries for the Irish. [42] The typhoon saw the Japan–Scotland match under threat with the Scottish Rugby Union demanding legal action if it was cancelled. [43] But after an inspection deemed the match to go ahead, [44] Japan held their nerve against a fast-finishing Scotland to take home a 28–21 victory with Kenki Fukuoka scoring two tries. The win saw Japan become the first Tier 2 team to qualify since 2007, as they topped the group while Ireland finished in second place. [45]

20 September 2019 Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 30–10 Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Tokyo Stadium, Chōfu
22 September 2019 Ireland  IRFU flag.svg 27–3 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama
24 September 2019 Russia  Flag of Russia.svg 9–34 Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Kumagaya
28 September 2019 Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 19–12 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Fukuroi
30 September 2019 Scotland  Flag of Scotland.svg 34–0 Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe
3 October 2019 Ireland  IRFU flag.svg 35–0 Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe
5 October 2019 Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 38–19 Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa City of Toyota Stadium, Toyota
9 October 2019 Scotland  Flag of Scotland.svg 61–0 Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Fukuroi
12 October 2019 Ireland  IRFU flag.svg 47–5 Flag of Samoa.svg  Samoa Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka
13 October 2019 Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 28–21 Flag of Scotland.svg  Scotland International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama

Pool B

Italy taking on Namibia at Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiosaka. 2019RWC Italy v Namibia 4.jpg
Italy taking on Namibia at Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiōsaka.
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 43102215722+135216
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 43012718536+149315
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy 4211149878+20212
Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 4013334175–14102
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada 4013214177–16302

Pool B started with New Zealand beating South Africa 23–13. New Zealand opened their scoring with two tries in four minutes from George Bridge and Scott Barrett giving New Zealand a 17–3 lead at half-time. Pieter-Steph du Toit scored a converted try to bring the score back to 17–10 but two penalties from Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett sealed the result. [46] In Higashiōsaka, Italy conceded an early try against Namibia before running away with a bonus-point victory by 25 points. [47] Italy earned a second bonus-point victory in Fukuoka, scoring seven tries in a 48–7 demolition of Canada. [48] Over in Toyota, South Africa defeated Namibia by 54 points, scoring nine tries while Namibia could manage only a Cliven Loubser penalty in the 23rd minute. [49] New Zealand recorded their second victory of the World Cup with a 63–0 victory over Canada at Ōita Stadium. For New Zealand, Brad Weber scored his first two tries in international rugby with the Barrett brothers (Jordie Barrett, Beauden Barrett and Scott Barrett) each scoring a try as they became the first trio of brothers to start for New Zealand. [50]

New Zealand continued their demolition of their opponents with a 62-point win over Namibia in Chōfu, with the floodgates opening in the second half after Namibia restricted the All Blacks to 24 points in the first half. Sevu Reece, Ben Smith and Anton Lienert-Brown scoring two tries in the match. [51] Between the two New Zealand games, South Africa romped over Italy with Cheslin Kolbe scoring two tries as the South Africans won 49–3 in Fukuroi. [52] This was followed by a 66–7 victory over Canada with Cobus Reinach scoring the fastest hat-trick in World Cup history, with his three tries being scored in a space of 11 minutes. [53] The final two matches of the group were not played as Typhoon Hagibis saw the cancellation of the New Zealand–Italy and Namibia–Canada matches. [54] [55] At the end of the pool stage, New Zealand finished on top of the table with South Africa finishing second. [56]

21 September 2019 New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg 23–13 Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama
22 September 2019 Italy  Flag of Italy.svg 47–22 Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiōsaka
26 September 2019 Italy  Flag of Italy.svg 48–7 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka
28 September 2019 South Africa  Flag of South Africa.svg 57–3 Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia City of Toyota Stadium, Toyota
2 October 2019 New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg 63–0 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Ōita Stadium, Ōita
4 October 2019 South Africa  Flag of South Africa.svg 49–3 Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Fukuroi
6 October 2019 New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg 71–9 Flag of Namibia.svg  Namibia Tokyo Stadium, Chōfu
8 October 2019 South Africa  Flag of South Africa.svg 66–7 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe
12 October 2019 New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg 0–0 1 Flag of Italy.svg  Italy City of Toyota Stadium, Toyota
13 October 2019 Namibia  Flag of Namibia.svg 0–0 2 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Kamaishi

Pool C

Flag of England.svg  England 43101711920+99317
Flag of France.svg  France 431097951+28115
Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina 42021410691+15311
Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga 4103967105−3826
Flag of the United States.svg  United States 4004752156−10400

Pool C's opening match saw Argentina come back from a 17-point half-time deficit against France at Tokyo Stadium, only for France's Camille Lopez to score a game-winning drop goal in the 70th minute to win 23–21. [57] In Sapporo, two tries from Manu Tuilagi helped England to a bonus-point victory over Tonga. [58] England followed that up with a 38-point victory over the United States, with Joe Cokanasiga scoring two tries in the victory; however, the match was soured by the first red card of the tournament, shown to the United States' John Quill for a shoulder charge to the head of England's Owen Farrell. [59] Argentina bounced back from their defeat by France with a 28–12 victory over Tonga in Higashiōsaka; all of Argentina's scoring happened in the first 28 minutes, including a hat-trick from Julián Montoya as they raced to a 28-point lead before Tonga brought the margin back to 16 with two tries of their own. [60] After Typhoon Mitag almost cancelled the match, [61] the French were inconsistent with errors keeping the United States in the match before three late tries in the second half secured a 33–9 win in Fukuoka. [62]

In Chōfu, England qualified for the quarter-finals with a 39–10 victory over Argentina with Argentinean player Tomás Lavanini being shown a red card, which forced Argentina down to 14 men as he was forced off due to a high tackle on Owen Farrell's head. [63] France later joined them in qualifying for the knockout stage with a two-point victory over Tonga at Kumamoto Stadium. After conceding the first 17 points of the match, Tonga came back into the match with tries from Sonatane Takulua and Mali Hingano to close the gap to only three points before Romain Ntamack gave the cushion that France needed with two penalties in eight minutes giving France the victory. [64] Argentina became the first team to finish their matches of the 2019 World Cup, with a 47–17 victory over the United States in Kumagaya. Joaquín Tuculet and Juan Cruz Mallia each scored two tries in the meeting, their first since 2003. [65] After the England–France game was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis, [54] Tonga ended their World Cup campaign with a 31–19 victory over the United States. This was due to the Tongan's using their opportunities with them converting into tries and despite the United States being within striking range with three minutes to go, Telusa Veainu converted the match-winning try and a bonus-point victory for Tonga. [66] At the end of the pool stage, it was England winning the group with France finishing in second place. [56]

21 September 2019 France  Flag of France.svg 23–21 Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Tokyo Stadium, Chōfu
22 September 2019 England  Flag of England.svg 35–3 Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga Sapporo Dome, Sapporo
26 September 2019 England  Flag of England.svg 45–7 Flag of the United States.svg  United States Kobe Misaki Stadium, Kobe
28 September 2019 Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg 28–12 Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiōsaka
2 October 2019 France  Flag of France.svg 33–9 Flag of the United States.svg  United States Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium, Fukuoka
5 October 2019 England  Flag of England.svg 39–10 Flag of Argentina.svg  Argentina Tokyo Stadium, Chōfu
6 October 2019 France  Flag of France.svg 23–21 Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga Kumamoto Stadium, Kumamoto
9 October 2019 Argentina  Flag of Argentina.svg 47–17 Flag of the United States.svg  United States Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Kumagaya
12 October 2019 England  Flag of England.svg 0–0 1 Flag of France.svg  France International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama
13 October 2019 United States  Flag of the United States.svg 19–31 Flag of Tonga.svg  Tonga Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiōsaka

Pool D

Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 44001713669+67319
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 43012013668+68416
Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji 410317110108+237
Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia 4103965122−5715
Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 4103660140−8004

Pool D opened with Australia beating Fiji by 18 points in Sapporo after Fiji led by two points at half-time. Australia scored four tries in the second half for the bonus point. [67] Wales beat Georgia 43–14 at City of Toyota Stadium, after leading 29–0 at half-time and 22–0 after three tries in the first 19 minutes. [68] In Kamaishi, Fiji scored the opening try against Uruguay. Two mistakes within eight minutes gave Teros the lead before a try from Juan Manuel Cat enhanced it to 12 points at half-time. Three Fijian tries in the second half were to no avail as two penalty goals from Felipe Berchesi gave Uruguay their first win in a World Cup since 2003. [69] In Kumagaya on 29 September, Georgia recorded a 33–7 win over Uruguay. Dominant work by their forwards in the second half laid the foundation for the bonus-point victory. [70] Over in Chōfu, Dan Biggar scored the fastest drop goal in World Cup history as Wales led 23–8 at the half. Two second-half tries from Australia brought the scores to within a point but the Welsh held out for a 29–25 win. [71]

A second half performance from Fiji at a wet Hanazono Rugby Stadium saw the Fijians record their first win of their 2019 World Cup campaign as they won 45–10 over Georgia. This was partly due to Semi Radradra scoring two tries while also aiding in setting up three more tries as Fiji scored seven tries to one in the bonus-point victory. [72] Another slow start for the Australians in their game with Uruguay did not stop them from recording a win over the South Americans, with Tevita Kuridrani and Dane Haylett-Petty each getting two tries in the 35-point victory at Ōita Stadium. [73] Four days later at the same stadium, Fiji got off to a 10–0 lead with the tries coming from Josua Tuisova and Kini Murimurivalu within eight minutes. Fiji held their lead until the 31st minute when Josh Adams scored his second try of three for the match. Wales increased their lead from there to win 29–17, qualifying for the quarter-finals with Australia. [74] The penultimate match of Pool D saw Australia outlast a tough Georgia in difficult conditions in Fukuroi, as they won 27–8. [75] Wales finished undefeated with a 35–13 win over Uruguay at Kumamoto Stadium to record a bonus-point victory and set up a quarter-final with France while Australia came in second. [76]

21 September 2019 Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg 39–21 Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji Sapporo Dome, Sapporo
23 September 2019 Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 43–14 Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia City of Toyota Stadium, Toyota
25 September 2019 Fiji  Flag of Fiji.svg 27–30 Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Kamaishi
29 September 2019 Georgia  Flag of Georgia.svg 33–7 Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay Kumagaya Rugby Stadium, Kumagaya
29 September 2019 Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg 25–29 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales Tokyo Stadium, Chōfu
3 October 2019 Georgia  Flag of Georgia.svg 10–45 Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiōsaka
5 October 2019 Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg 45–10 Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay Ōita Stadium, Ōita
9 October 2019 Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 29–17 Flag of Fiji.svg  Fiji Ōita Stadium, Ōita
11 October 2019 Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg 27–8 Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa, Fukuroi
13 October 2019 Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 35–13 Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay Kumamoto Stadium, Kumamoto

Knockout stage

The knockout stage of the Rugby World Cup consisted of three single-elimination rounds leading to a final and a third-place playoff. Following a tie in regulation time, two 10-minute periods of extra time would be used to determine a winner. If the scores are tied at the end of extra time, an additional 10-minute "sudden death" period is played, with the first team to score any points being declared the winner. If the score remains tied at the end of extra time, a kicking competition would ensue. [31]

19 October – Ōita
Flag of England.svg  England 40
26 October – Yokohama
Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia 16
Flag of England.svg  England 19
19 October – Chōfu
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 7
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 46
2 November – Yokohama
IRFU flag.svg  Ireland 14
Flag of England.svg  England 12
20 October – Ōita
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 32
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 20
27 October – Yokohama
Flag of France.svg  France 19
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 16
20 October – Chōfu
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 19 Third place
Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 3
1 November – Chōfu
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 26
Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 40
Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 17


The first two quarter-finals were played on Saturday. The first quarter-final saw England defeat Australia 40–16 at Ōita Stadium. Two tries from Jonny May, plus the 18 turnovers that the Australians conceded and led to two more being scored by England, sealed the result which saw Michael Cheika resign from the role as Australian manager. [77] [78] The following match saw New Zealand book their spot in the semi-finals, with the All Blacks cruising to a 46–14 win over Ireland at Tokyo Stadium. Aaron Smith scored two of the All Blacks' seven tries, with the Irish only getting on the board in the 69th minute from a Robbie Henshaw converted try. A penalty try was then added seven minutes later. [79]

The other two quarter-finals were played the following day. In the opening match, France got off to an early 12–0 lead with Sébastien Vahaamahina and Charles Ollivon both scoring tries in the first eight minutes. Aaron Wainwright opened the Welsh account with a try in the 12th minute before Virimi Vakatawa scored the French's third, giving them a 19–10 lead at the break. Nine minutes into the second half, France went down to 14 men with Sébastien Vahaamahina being red-carded for an elbow to Aaron Wainwright as Wales went on to win the match 20–19 with a 74th minute try to Ross Moriarty. [80] In the last quarter-final match, it was South Africa who claimed a 26–3 win over Japan with Makazole Mapimpi scoring two tries in the victory. [81]

19 October 2019
16:15 JST (UTC+09)
England  Flag of England.svg 40–16 Flag of Australia (converted).svg  Australia
Try: May (2) 18' c, 21' c
Sinckler 46' c
Watson 76' c
Con: Farrell (4/4) 19', 23', 47', 77'
Pen: Farrell (4/4) 30', 51', 66', 73'
Report Try: Koroibete 43' c
Con: Lealiifano (1/1) 44'
Pen: Lealiifano (3/3) 12', 26', 41'
Ōita Stadium, Ōita
Attendance: 36,954
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)

19 October 2019
19:15 JST (UTC+09)
New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg 46–14 IRFU flag.svg  Ireland
Try: A. Smith (2) 14' c, 20' c
B. Barrett 32' m
Taylor 48' c
Todd 61' m
Bridge 73' c
J. Barrett 79' m
Con: Mo'unga (4/7) 15', 22', 49' 74'
Pen: Mo'unga (1/1) 6'
Report Try: Henshaw 69' c
Penalty try 76'
Con: Carbery (1/1) 69'
Tokyo Stadium, Chōfu
Attendance: 46,686
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

20 October 2019
16:15 JST (UTC+09)
Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 20–19 Flag of France.svg  France
Try: Wainwright 12' c
Moriarty 74' c
Con: Biggar (2/2) 13', 75'
Pen: Biggar (2/2) 20', 54'
Report Try: Vahaamahina 5' m
Ollivon 8' c
Vakatawa 31' c
Con: Ntamack (2/3) 9', 32'
Ōita Stadium, Ōita
Attendance: 34,426
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)

20 October 2019
19:15 JST (UTC+09)
Japan  Flag of Japan.svg 3–26 Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
Pen: Tamura (1/1) 20'
Report Try: Mapimpi (2) 4' m, 70' m
de Klerk 66' c
Con: Pollard (1/3) 66'
Pen: Pollard (3/4) 44', 49', 64'
Tokyo Stadium, Chōfu
Attendance: 48,831
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)


In the first semi-final, England took on New Zealand in front of 68,843 spectators in Yokohama. In response to New Zealand's haka, England's players stood in a V-shape formation, for which they were later fined having crossed the halfway line. [82] England scored the opening points of the game in the second minute with a try from Manu Tuilagi, converted by Owen Farrell. After two penalties on either side of the half, the All Blacks responded in the 57th minute to close the gap to six points with a converted try from Ardie Savea, but two later penalties in the 63rd and the 69th confirmed England's spot in the final. [83]

The second semi-final was also played in Yokohama, as the 67,750 spectators in attendance saw South Africa take on Wales for a spot against England in the final. South Africa took a 9–6 lead into half-time, but Biggar levelled the scores with a penalty kick six minutes into the second half. Damian de Allende then scored the first try of the match in the 57th minute, fending off two Welsh tacklers to score from 20 metres out. Wales again equalised thanks to Josh Adams scoring down the short side from an attacking scrum on the South African five-metre line; however, they were penalised for collapsing a maul with five minutes left in the game, allowing Pollard to kick the winning points and book South Africa a spot in the final. [84]

26 October 2019
17:00 JST (UTC+08)
England  Flag of England.svg 19–7 Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand
Try: Tuilagi 2' c
Con: Farrell (1/1) 3'
Pen: Ford (4/5) 40', 50', 63', 69'
Report Try: Savea 57' c
Con: Mo'unga (1/1) 58'

27 October 2019
18:00 JST (UTC+09)
Wales  Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg 16–19 Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
Try: Adams 65' c
Con: Halfpenny (1/1) 66'
Pen: Biggar (3/3) 18', 39', 46'
Report Try: de Allende 57' c
Con: Pollard (1/1) 58'
Pen: Pollard (4/4) 15', 20', 35', 76'

Bronze final

The bronze medal was won by New Zealand in a convincing win over Wales. [85]

1 November 2019
18:00 JST (UTC+09)
New Zealand  Flag of New Zealand.svg 40–17 Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
Try: Moody 5' c
B. Barrett 13' c
B. Smith (2) 33' c, 40+1' c
Crotty 42' c
Mo'unga 76' m
Con: Mo'unga (5/6) 7', 14', 34', 40+2', 44'
Report Try: Amos 19' c
Adams 59' c
Con: Patchell (1/1) 21'
Biggar (1/1) 61'
Pen: Patchell (1/1) 27'
Tokyo Stadium, Chōfu
Attendance: 48,842
Referee: Wayne Barnes (England)


England started as favourites for the final, [86] but they had an unfortunate start to the game as Kyle Sinckler was substituted in the third minute after colliding with Maro Itoje, [87] leaving England with only one tighthead prop. [88] South Africa tight forwards Bongi Mbonambi and Lood de Jager left the field through injuries in the 21st minute. [89] During the first half the only points scored were from penalties, with South Africa leading 12–6 at half time after several handling errors by England. [90] England came close to scoring a try, but did not manage to score after 26 phases. [88]

Two more successful penalties on either side made the score 18–12 at the beginning of the second half. Makazole Mapimpi scored the first try in the 66th minute, making South Africa's lead 25–12 after the conversion while becoming the first Springbok to score a try in a World Cup final. [88] Cheslin Kolbe followed up with another try eight minutes later, making the final score 32–12. [88] [90] [91]

2 November 2019
18:00 JST (UTC+09)
England  Flag of England.svg12–32Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
Pen: Farrell (4/5) 23', 35', 52', 60'
Report Try: Mapimpi 66' c
Kolbe 74' c
Con: Pollard (2/2) 67', 75'
Pen: Pollard (6/8) 10', 26', 39', 43', 46', 58'


Most tries

7 tries
6 tries
5 tries
4 tries

Top point scorers

Top 10 point scorers
TriesConversionsPenaltiesDrop goals
Handré Pollard Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 6909161
Owen Farrell Flag of England.svg  England 58011120
Richie Mo'unga Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 5412030
Yu Tamura Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 5109110
Dan Biggar Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 4101061
Josh Adams Flag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales 357000
George Ford Flag of England.svg  England 322540
Jordie Barrett Flag of New Zealand.svg  New Zealand 313800
Makazole Mapimpi Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa 306000
Felipe Berchesi Flag of Uruguay.svg  Uruguay 300660

Typhoon Hagibis and match cancellations

On 10 October, World Rugby and the Japan Rugby 2019 Organising Committee announced that, due to the predicted weather caused by Typhoon Hagibis, the Pool B meeting between New Zealand and Italy and the Pool C meeting between England and France had been cancelled. [92] The decisions had been made on safety grounds with considerations on the expected impact the typhoon would have on Tokyo, including likely public transport shutdown or disruption. This was the first ever occasion any Rugby World Cup match had been cancelled. [93] Decision on cancellation of pool games scheduled for 13 October was made on the day of the game, including the match between Japan and Scotland. [54]

On the evening of 12 October Japan Standard Time (JST), World Rugby and the Japan 2019 Organising Committee released a statement that they had advised Namibia and Canada of the possibility of their game being cancelled, with the typhoon predicted to impact Kamaishi. [94] On 13 October, World Rugby and the Japan 2019 Organising Committee announced the cancellation of the Namibia–Canada game in Kamaishi. [95] The decision was made following a level 5 evacuation order in the city on the day of the match following the typhoon. [96] Canada's national team stayed in Kamaishi to help out local residents with their cleanup efforts. [97] The Namibia national team interacted with fans in the campsite Miyako City. [98] [99]

Shortly after the announcement of the cancellation of the Namibia–Canada game, it was confirmed that the matches between Wales and Uruguay and the United States and Tonga would go ahead as scheduled. [55] By noon on 12 October, it was confirmed that the match between Japan and Scotland was unaffected by the typhoon and would take place as scheduled, in front of spectators who had previously feared that they might have missed out with the game played behind closed doors. [100]

In line with tournament rules, the canceled pool matches were declared as drawn, the points being shared two each with no score registered. [31] With these cancellations, France were unable to compete for the top pool position (held by England at the time), with a victory to secure that place. For Italy, however, the cancellation effectively eliminated them from the tournament; a victory against defending champions New Zealand could have seen them qualify for the knock-out stage, dependent on the margin of the win. [101] This also had implications on whether South Africa finished top of their pool or as runners-up, having already confirmed their progression to the quarter-finals. [102] [103]


For the first time, the domestic rights holder did not serve as the host broadcaster of the tournament. Instead, International Games Broadcast Services (IGBS), a joint venture between Host Broadcast Services (HBS) and IMG, handled production of the footage distributed to rights holders. IGBS used production resources from traditional rugby nations such as Australia, France, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Japanese broadcaster NHK covered selected games in 8K resolution, using a combination of nine 8K cameras and up-converted 4K resolution footage from IGBS. The International Broadcast Centre was located outside Ajinomoto Stadium. [104] [105]

World Rugby streamed the tournament on its website for unsold markets. [106] Sport24 was the rights holder for in-flight/in-ship broadcast. [107] In South Africa, pay television channel SuperSport had broadcasting rights. To enable the whole country to watch, the free-to-air South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) broadcast the final after they reached an agreement with MultiChoice. [108]

TerritoryRights holderRef.
Albania DigitAlb [105]
Argentina TPA [109]
Australia [110] [111]
Belgium Telenet [105]
Brazil ESPN [112]
Canada TSN [113]
Cyprus CYTA [105]
Czech RepublicPragosport [105]
Fiji Fiji TV [114]
France TF1 Group [115]
Georgia GPB [105]
Germany ProSiebenSat.1 Media [116]
Hong Kong beIN Sports [117]
India Sony Pictures Networks [118]
Ireland [119] [120]
IsraelCharlton [105]
Italy RAI [121]
Japan [105] [122]
Kosovo DigitAlb [105]
Latin America ESPN [112]
Latvia LTV7 [123]
Malaysia RTM [105]
MENA beIN Sports [124]
Netherlands Ziggo Sport [125]
New Zealand [126] [127]
Nordic NENT [128]
Pacific Islands Fiji TV [114]
Poland Polsat [105]
Portugal Sport TV [105]
Russia Match TV [105]
Romania TVR [129]
SlovakiaPragosport [105]
Southeast Asia beIN Sports [117]
Spain Movistar+ [130]
Sub-Saharan Africa SuperSport [105]
TaiwanELTA [131]
United Kingdom [132] [133]
United States NBCUniversal [134]
Uruguay Channel 10 [135]


^1 Typhoon Hagibis caused the matches New Zealand versus Italy and England versus France to be cancelled and recorded as 0–0 draws. [54]

^2 Typhoon Hagibis and an associated evacuation order for Kamaishi caused the match between Namibia and Canada to be cancelled and recorded as a 0–0 draw. [55]

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