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Rugby World Cup 2019 - complete preview

Rugby World Cup 2019 - complete preview
By Eurosport

19/09/2019 at 19:38Updated 19/09/2019 at 19:55

Everything you need to know ahead of the Rugby World Cup as New Zealand aim to retain the trophy.

WHEN IS IT ON?

The Rugby World Cup starts on Friday with hosts Japan taking on Russia at 11.45am (BST). The tournament runs through until November 2.

WHERE IS IT?

The ninth Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan, making in the first time the tournament is to be held in Asia. The competition will be played across 12 different venues in Japan.

ARE TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE?

THE FORMAT

The twenty teams are divided into four pools of five teams. Each pool will be a single round-robin of ten games, in which each team plays one match against each of the other teams in the same pot.

Teams are awarded four league points for a win, two for a draw and none for a defeat by eight or more points.

A team scoring four tries in a match is awarded a bonus point, as is a team that loses by fewer than eight points – both bonus points are awarded if both situations apply.

The top two teams from each pool go through to the quarter-finals and the top three teams of each pool autmatically qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

THE HOLDERS

New Zealand are the holders, having won the previous edition in 2015, and have won the competition three times.

CAN NEW ZEALAND RETAIN?

New Zealand enter the competition as heavy favourites to win it once again.

However, England are South Africa are strongly tipped to have deep runs and could potentially knock the All Blacks off their perch with Dan Carter, Ma'a Nonu and Richie McCaw no longer around.

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