All Blacks to start World Cup defence against Springboks

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

See who is playing who in the pool stage at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

The contest between two teams that have won five of the eight editions of the World Cup played since its inception in 1987‚ promises to be a highlight of the pool phase and certainly the most enticing match-up of the opening weekend.

Australia, who made the final in England in 2015, were earlier drawn in a pool with Wales, Georgia, Fiji and Canada or Uruguay, who square off early next year with the victor to qualify. Traditionally, they have drawn second tier nations such as Italy (3 times), Tonga (twice) and the United States in the tournament opener.

"Our aim is to win Rugby World Cup 2019, and the support for the team will be an important factor". The recommendation by the board of Rugby World Cup Limited, a World Rugby subsidiary, is expected to be rubber-stamped, though.

If the All Blacks top group B they'll play a quarterfinal at Tokyo Stadium on Saturday October 19, a 11.15pm start.

The match between the Boks and All Blacks‚ to be played at the 72329 capacity International Stadium in Yokohama‚ will nearly certainly decide the victor of Pool B that also features Italy.

The final will be on Saturday, November 2 at Yokohama's International Stadium at 6pm.

After tackling Ireland, Scotland meet the yet to be decided play-off winners in Kobe on September 30, then go to Shizuoka to tackle the Europe 1 qualifier before facing Japan on October 13.

World Cup organisers have revealed the match scheduling and locations of the 48 matches, two years to the day until the final.

The schedule for the RWC in Japan has dropped and, despite not knowing two of the teams in Pool A alongside Ireland, Japan and Scotland, Joe Schmidt will be disappointed at how the fates have allowed the opening week to unfold.

Double reigning champions New Zealand face a mouth-watering tie with South Africa in their first match on the following day in Yokohama, while Ireland face Scotland and England take on Tonga on Sunday, September 22.

Wales' meet Pool D giants Australia on September 29 and will also have to overcome potential banana skin Fiji on October 9 followed by the Americas 2 qualifier - possibly Canada - four days later.

Bronze Medal Game: Friday November 1: Loser SF 1 v Loser SF 2, 6pm (10pm NZ Time) at Tokyo Stadium.

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