Rugby World Cup 2019 – The Complete Guide

The wait for the 2019 Rugby World Cup is now over and the excitement continues to grow as each team gets their campaign underway.

For the first time in the history of the Rugby World Cup, the event heads to Japan and the hosts kick off the tournament against Russia.

New Zealand will be looking to make it three World Cup wins on the spin after following up their 2011 success over France with a 34-17 victory four years later against Australia.

But who will take the crown in 2019? Take a look at our Rugby World Cup betting markets and read on for the complete guide to the tournament.

When is the Rugby World Cup 2019?

The Rugby World Cup begins on September 20th when hosts Japan face Russia at the Tokyo Stadium and the tournament lasts for six weeks, culminating in the final on November 2nd at the International Stadium in Yokohama.

The big group stage matches kick-off with an absolute cracker as reigning champions New Zealand face South Africa on September 21st, while Ireland face Scotland the following day.

England and France meet in what is likely to be a crunch Group C game on October 12th, while the Group D heavyweights Australia and Wales meet on September 29th.

The dates for each round of the Rugby World Cup 2019 are as follows:

Group stage matches September 20 – October 13
Quarter-finals October 19-20
Semi-finals October 26-27
Bronze final November 1
Final November 2


Who will win the Rugby World Cup 2019?

With the tournament now underway, we take a look at the sports betting markets and Rugby World Cup odds.


Head Coach: Mario Ledesma

Captain: Pablo Matera

Best World Cup finish: Third place (2007)

Winner Odds: 40/1

The Pumas have appeared at every Rugby World Cup, with their best finish coming in 2007 when they occupied third spot after a 34-10 win over hosts France in the Bronze final.

That proves they are more than capable of an upset or two in the past competitions but sit in a group which contains England and France which means their passage through to the latter stages will be tough.


Head Coach: Michael Cheika

Captain: Michael Hooper

Best World Cup finish: Winners (1991 and 1999)

Winner Odds: 14/1

You can write the Aussies off at your peril. On paper, this may not be the best side they have ever produced, but over the years the Wallabies have tended to save their best on the big stage.

In addition to their two wins, they have made the final on another two occasions, only to be denied by Jonny Wilkinson’s drop goal and then New Zealand’s brilliance in 2015.

They aren’t the same side though, and recent results would suggest they will find it tough to add a third World Cup win to their successes.


Head Coach: Eddie Jones

Captain: Owen Farrell

Best World Cup: Winners (2003)

Winner Odds: 4/1

A home World Cup seemed to put too much pressure on Stuart Lancaster’s side last time out as they flopped massively and failed to make it past the group stages.

Their form can be hit and miss but they have fared well since November 2018 having beaten both South Africa and Australia, while only losing by a point to New Zealand.

Certainly have the capabilities to go deep into the tournament, if not win it, but all depends whether they can get off to a good start in search of a second World Cup win.


Head Coach: Jacques Brunel

Captain: Guilhem Guirado

Best World Cup finish: Runners-up (1987, 2011)

Winner Odds: 28/1

The French are rarely a straightforward side and often fall short when under pressure having reached the semi-finals in six of the eight World Cups.

Have twice gone close to glory, none more so than an 8-7 loss to New Zealand in 2011. The current France side lacks the experience of other Test nations, but it remains to be seen if they can defy the long odds and enjoy a strong run in Japan.


Head Coach: Joe Schmidt

Captain: Rory Best

Best World Cup finish: Quarter-finals (1987, 1991. 1995, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2015)

Winner Odds: 10/1

Great at getting out of the group stages, but can never seem to get past the quarter-final stages at the World Cup.

In six of the eight tournaments, Ireland have been eliminated in the quarter-final stages, but with the current squad at Joe Schmidt’s disposal, they should enjoy a good run, and at least reach the semi-finals if they perform to the levels they have achieved in recent seasons.

They have been one of few sides to beat New Zealand in recent years and deservedly sit second behind the All Blacks in the world rankings heading to Japan. Whether they can turn that in a tournament victory remains to be seen.

New Zealand

Head Coach:  Steve Hansen

Captain: Kieran Read

Best World Cup finish: Champions (1987, 2011,2015)

Winner Odds: 6/4

It is hard to see past the All Blacks once again and they could create history in Japan by becoming the first side to win three World Cups in a row.

They saw off Australia in 2015 and have continued to be the side to beat over the last few years. Ireland have proven they are beatable, while England pushed them close in the Autumn.

There are weaknesses, but another side will have to play the game of their lives if they are to defeat the All Blacks in Japan.


Head Coach: Gregor Townsend

Captain: Greig Laidlaw

Best World Cup finish: Fourth place (1991)

Winner Odds: 40/1

Having been in the doldrums for some time, the Scots seem to be an improving nation once again.

They continue to show signs of progress, but face an all-important opening clash with Ireland which will play a large part in how far they could go.

Lose that, and a second-place finish would likely see them come up against the powerhouse that is New Zealand.

South Africa

Head Coach:  Rassie Erasmus

Captain: Siya Kolisi

Best World Cup finish: Winners (1995 & 2007)

Winner Odds: 4/1

Since their first World Cup appearance back in 1995, they are a side that are always there or thereabouts on the big stage and have made at least the quarter-finals at every tournament.

They suffered a shock 34-32 defeat to Japan in the group stages in 2015, but recovered and were just edged out 20-18 by eventual winners New Zealand in the semi-finals.

They appeared to be somewhere near their best when beating New Zealand in Wellington last year, before going close in the return leg of the 2018 Rugby Championship so they look to be showing signs of progress at just the right time.


Head Coach: Warren Gatland

Captain: Alun Wyn-Jones

Best World Cup finish: Third place (1987)

Winner Odds: 9/1

You can never rule out the Welsh and they certainly surprised many with their Six Nations Grand Slam.

They came from off the ropes against England in 2015, and then in this year’s Six Nations found themselves 10-3 down at the break, only to turn it around.

Have the small problem that is the Aussies in their group, but if they can get through the group stages without any issues, they could cause an upset or two.


How did things go at Rugby World Cup 2015?

It proved to be a disaster for hosts England as they failed to make it past the group stages following defeats to both Australia and Wales.

The surprise of the tournament came when Japan produced the performance of their lifetime, defeating South Africa 34-32.

Another entertaining encounter saw Scotland just fall short against Australia, as the Wallabies’ Bernard Foley slotted over a last-minute penalty to secure the win.

Australia met New Zealand in the final, and the latter raced into a 16-3 lead at half time and extended it to 21-3 early in the second period.

All Blacks’ Ben Smith was sent to the sin-bin for a tip-tackle on Drew Mitchell, and during his sin-bin, the Aussies ran in two tries as they reduced the deficit to just four points.

With 10 minutes to go Dan Carter slotted over a drop goal, with the Wallabies now needing a converted try to draw level.

Carter added another penalty, before Beauden Barrett’s last-gasp try sealed the All Blacks third Rugby World Cup title.

Will New Zealand make it Rugby World Cup title number four this year in Japan? They are 11/10 to lift the trophy once again.


Rugby World Cup in Japan

The 2015 Rugby World Cup was hosted in England, with the All Blacks becoming the first side to make it back-to-back wins in the history of the competition with a 34-17 success over Australia.

But four years down the line it now heads to Japan, with the games being staged at 12 venues across the country.

The venues are:

Stadium Location Capacity
Sapporo Dome Sapporo 41,410
Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium Kamaishi 16,187
Kumagaya Rugby Stadium Kumagaya 24,000
Tokyo Stadium Tokyo 49,970
International Stadium Yokohama 72,327
Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa Shizuoka 50,889
City of Toyota Stadium Toyota 45,000
Hanazono Rugby Stadium Osaka 30,000
Kobe Misaki Stadium Kobe 30,132
Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium Fukuoka 22,563
Kumamoto Stadium Kumamoto 32,000
Oita Stadium Oita 40,000


Rugby fans looking to get around Japan and experience the country can do so via the Japan Rail Pass which allows unlimited access to the Japanese bullet trains as well as access to all other Japan Rail national trains, buses, ferries and airport transfers to international airports like Haneda, Narita and Kansai (Osaka).

History of the Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup first took place in 1987 with Australia and New Zealand joint hosts, with the latter emerging 22-9 victors over France in the final.

Before that, there had been no global rugby union competition but had been mooted on several occasions, including as far back as 1950.

A proposal was put forward in 1985 to the International Rugby Football Board and was successfully passed.

Since it was first staged, the event has taken place every four years, with New Zealand the most successful nation having won the tournament on three occasions.

The other winners are Australia (twice), South Africa (twice) and England (once).




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