Rugby World Cup 2019: New Zealand begin title defence against South Africa

New Zealand
New Zealand beat Australia at Twickenham, to win the 2015 World Cup

Champions New Zealand will begin their quest for a third successive World Cup title against South Africa in Yokohama.

The fixtures for the 2019 World Cup which takes place in Japan, were announced on Thursday.

England, who failed to reach the knockout stages of their own tournament in 2015, play Tonga first in Pool C.

Ireland and Scotland will meet in their opening game in Pool A while Wales begin against Georgia in Pool D.

Hosts Japan kick off the tournament against Europe's top qualifier.

England will play their fixtures in Sapporo, Kobe, Tokyo and Yokohama with Wales in Aichi, Tokyo, Oita and Kumamoto.

Ireland have games in in Yokohama, Shizuoka, Kobe and Fukoka while Scotland visit Yokohama twice, Kobe and Shizuoka.

The World Cup will take place between 20 September and 2 November 2019.

You can read the full fixtures here.

Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe 1, play-off winner (Europe 2 v Oceania 3)

Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1, repechage winner

Pool C: England, France, Argentina, USA, Tonga

Pool D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Americas 2

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