2003 champions England tackle the Pumas at Christchurch on September 10 in Pool B - click the link beneath the picture for the full match schedule.

New Zealand will face Tonga in the opening match. The two sides will lock horns in Pool A on the evening of September 9 at Auckland's Eden Park, the venue where the All Blacks beat France in the final of the inaugural World Cup in 1987.

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South Africa will begin their World Cup title defence against Wales in Pool D at Wellington two days later.

Twice World Cup champions Australia start their Pool C campaign against Italy at Christchurch on the same day while France, Ireland and Scotland also play on the first weekend although their opponents are still to be determined.

The top two sides from each of the four five-team pools will advance to the quarter-finals, to be held in Christchurch and Wellington on October 8 and 9.

The last four matches, including the third-place play-off, will be held at Eden Park with the semi-finals on October 15 and 16, and the final on October 23.

While Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch had already been confirmed to host the play-offs and the majority of the pool matches, another 10 smaller venues were also allocated games.

North Shore, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Rotorua and Dunedin were each given three matches while Whangarei, Nelson, Palmerston North, Napier and Invercargill were awarded two each, taking the tournament to 11 different regions in New Zealand.

"Our philosophy all along has been a stadium of 4 million," said tournament chief executive Martin Snedden.

"We believe today's announcement, building on the knock-out decisions announced last year, takes us further towards the fulfillment of that promise.

"(Rugby New Zealand) has worked very closely with Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) over the past few months to bring this to a reality.

"Our collective view is that the match schedule represents the best balance between ensuring a successful tournament in New Zealand while also recognising its global standing."

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