We had the Football World Cup in 2018, the Cricket World Cup just a couple of months back, now it is time for the Rugby World Cup and we can't wait to watch it.
Whether you are a rugby fan or not, we believe all sporting World Cup tournaments are definitely worth watching in some capacity or another. Maybe you love rugby, maybe you don't, maybe your children might get into it and start playing down their local club.
That is why it is definitely worth you taking some time out to watch what will surely be a brilliant spectacle.
The tournament starts with the hosts Japan taking on a Russian side that are appearing in just their second ever World Cup Finals. Kick off from the Tokyo Stadium is at 11.45am UK time and 7.45pm Japan local time.
The opening match will be the first of a total of forty eight matches, with ten games taking place per each of the four groups. Before the tournament goes into the knockout stages of Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, Third-Place Play-Off and then the World Cup Final itself.
The twenty teams taking part in the 9th Rugby World Cup are Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia and Samoa (Group A). New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia and Canada (Group B). England, France, Argentina, USA and Tonga (Group C). With Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji and Uruguay (Group D).
Each team in each group will play each other once, so a total of four games each and these will be played at one of the twelve different venues around Japan over a four week period.
The top two from each of the four groups will then qualify for the Quarter-Finals and that is when the knockout stage of the competition begins. That will be followed by the Semi-Finals and the Third-Place Play-Off. With the Final itself taking place at the International Stadium Yokohama (Nissan Stadium) in Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama City on Saturday 2nd November.
It absolutely is and every single match of the tournament is to be broadcast live on domestic television throughout September, October and November. This includes all group matches as well as all the knockout stages and the main broadcaster in the UK will be ITV.
They will have the majority of the games and all the big games on their main ITV channel with other games being shown on their sister channel ITV2. With kick off times varying between the times of 6.15am and 11.45am. Wales' matches will be also be shown on the Welsh channel S4C.
As always, we'll keep you up to date with all the live rugby on TV every day of the tournament.
And just in case you're overseas, ESPN will show the rugby in Uruguay and Argentina, whilst NBC Sports and Univision will show live matches in the United States.
France will have TF1 showing games in their country and Ireland will use both RTÉ and Eir Sport. Further afield in New Zealand the channels will TVNZ and Spark, with Fox Sports and Network 10 covering Australia. South Africa's main sports channel SuperSport will then show the rugby there.
As for the hosts Japan if you're lucky enough to be over there for any games, then you can watch live games and highlight shows on various channels like Nippon TV, NHK and J Sports.
The coverage of the Rugby World Cup on TV will be superb as always, but if you get the chance to even get to a single match then it will be absolutely worth it.
If not, then yes you can definitely still buy tickets for certain games even though they have been on sale since the end of last summer. You can register right here: https://www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets and see what tickets might still be available. It is likely that the majority of the games will now be sold out.
However, with tickets going on sale over a year ago they may well have had some returns by now, unless there genuinely are some tickets left over for some of the less popular games.
As always, we'll be backing England all the way and hopefully they can win a second World Cup after lifting the Webb Ellis Cup back in 2003. Thanks to that famous Jonny Wilkinson drop goal in Sydney against Australia in the dying moments of extra-time.
England are of course up there as one of the favourites to win it, but currently New Zealand who have won the last two tournaments in 2011 and 2015 are the bookies clear favourites. Which will come as no surprise.
What will come as a surprise to some though, is that neither England or New Zealand are currently ranked as the best team in the world. England are third, New Zealand second, but thanks to recent results Wales have now overtaken the Kiwis as the number one ranked team in the world.
Other than the three-time previous winners New Zealand, one-time winner England and the current number one ranked team in the world Wales. The other likely winners of the Rugby World Cup are the two teams that have also won it before, won it twice before in actual fact.
They are 1995 and 2007 winners South Africa, who are currently second favourites to lift the trophy under head coach Rassie Erasmus. Then sixth favourites to win it are the 1991 and 1999 winners Australia, who'll be lead by the captain and forward Michael Hooper.
Outside of the five teams mentioned so far, you have three-time losing finalists France, who as we all know can be hit or miss. If they turn up though and play well, they can certainly cause many upsets. Then you have New Zealand born head coach Joe Schmidt in charge of an Ireland team that again, can easily beat anyone on their day.
Further afield but of course not likely to win the tournament are Argentina, Scotland and hosts Japan. That's not to say they will not have a hand in determining who'll win the trophy, as these three are certainly capable of upsetting one of the more favoured teams in the groups stages. Just like Japan did in 2015 when they caused probably the biggest upset in World Cup history when they beat South Africa 34-32 in Brighton.
Enjoy watching the tournament anyway, whether you're planning on sitting down to view every single match or just an odd game here or there. It's going to be a great six or seven weeks.
Last Updated September 3, 2019