In just a few months’ time, we have the 2019 Rugby World Cup scheduled to take place in Japan. Therefore, to get us in the mood for the new tournament, which is on the horizon, within this article we are going to explore the national rugby competition in depth. From discussing how the games are structured to the current performance of each squad, we are going to cover everything you need to know about the pending tournament.

How it Works?

The Rugby World Cup 2019 takes place on the 20th September 2019 and the final is scheduled for the 2nd November 2019. This tournament is made up of a total of 48 matches with 20 participating teams from countries across the globe. The Rugby World Cup occurs every four years and was established in 1987

The games are split up in the pool stages and the finals. In the pool stages, this is where most matches are played as there are 4 pools of 5 teams which battle it out for a place in the finals. The top two teams from each pool are then advanced onto the quarter finals. After this section of matches, the semi-finals take place to determine which teams will be competing in the bronze final or the final.

The winners of the Rugby World Cup are presented the Webb Ellis Cup which was named after the legendary William Webb Ellis. In history it is believed that he invented the sport after picking up the ball during a soccer match.

Predictions and Previous Winners

The line-up for each of the four pools for stage 1 of the tournament have been released and below are is the breakdown.

Pool A

  • Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Japan
  • Russia
  • Samoa

Pool B

  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Italy
  • Namibia
  • Canada

Pool C

  • England
  • France
  • Argentina
  • USA
  • Tonga

Pool D

  • Australia
  • Wales
  • Georgia
  • Fiji
  • Uruguay

Out of Pool A there are two team’s which are high in the list when it comes to the Men’s World Rugby Rankings. Ireland is in third place and Scotland is in seventh, leaving Japan, Russia and Samoa much further down. Due to this current placement in the rankings, we expect Ireland and Scotland to progress into the quarter finals, however it could all change!

Pool B appears to be the most competitive group of them all for the knockout stage as they have two major teams in there. Winning the last Rugby World Cup in 2015 as well as the first ever tournament in 1987 and a third win in 2011, the New Zealand rugby team is one of the most successful clubs to watch out for in the games this year. Along with these, the South African squad is in the same pool and they have lifted the trophy in 1995 and 2007. The South African side are also ranked 5th in the Men’s World Rugby Rankings and New Zealand is first. As a result of this, there is no doubt that we will see these two high ranking teams making it through the knockout stages.

Ranking 4th and 8th in the Men’s World Rugby Rankings, England and France appear to be the strongest side in Pool C. England has previously won the Rugby World Cup in 2003, however they were knocked out in the Pool stages during the last tournament in 2015. France managed to progress further in the previous games as they made it to the quarter finals, but at this current stage they are ranked below England. Argentina could be a dark horse as although they are ranked lower than England and France, but they were able to make it to the Bronze final in 2015.

The top two teams in the final pool D appear to be Ireland and Australia. Ireland is currently placed in third place on the Men’s World Rugby Rankings and Australia has been able to win the Rugby World Cup two times in 1991 and 1999, they also made it to the final in 2015, losing out to their closest competitors – New Zealand.

Are You Ready for the Upcoming Tournament?

In this article we have explored the status of each team involved in this years’ games. After reviewing these, who do you reckon has the strongest side? Let us know over on our social media platforms what your predictions are for this season! You can also shop our wide range of rugby gear over at Sports Fitness and head out onto the pitch yourself and begin your journey practising the sport.

This article was written exclusively for Sports Fitness by Loren Astbury