As it happenedended1568983591

Rugby World Cup live stream: How to watch Japan vs Russia online and on TV

The tournament kicks off in earnest on Friday with the opening ceremony

Harry Latham-Coyle
Friday 20 September 2019 13:45
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Rugby World Cup 2019 in numbers

The 2019 Rugby World Cup begins today.

The tournament begins in Tokyo with hosts Japan taking on Russia in the opening game of Group A.

That comes after the opening ceremony, however, which promises to be a celebratory affair as ever and will surely come with one or two surprises too.

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the big kick-off:

When does the tournament start?

The traditional tournament curtain-raiser is the opening ceremony, which is set to begin at about 10.30am on Friday 20 September.

The opening match follows the opening ceremony, with hosts Japan opening the tournament against Russia.

The match will start at 11:45 BST.

Where can I watch in the UK?

You can watch each game on ITV, while Indy Sport will have you covered with live blogs if you're on the move or at your desk. You can also stream the game on mobile devices and on your computer via the ITV website.

When will England begin their pursuit of the Webb Ellis trophy?

England kick off their Pool C fixtures against Tonga.

The game will take place on September 22 at 11:15 BST.

The Rugby World Cup begins on Friday

Who is playing and what are the pools?

There are 20 teams competing in Japan and they are divided into four pools, with the top two progressing to the quarter-finals.

Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia, Samoa

Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada

Pool C: England, France, Argentina, United States, Tonga

Pool D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Uruguay

The favourites

New Zealand 5/4

South Africa 4/1

England 4/1

Ireland 9/1

Wales 9/1

Australia 12/1

France 33/1

Argentina 40/1

Scotland 50/1

Japan 150/1

Latest updates

Please allow a moment for the live blog to load

1568965555

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of the 2019 Rugby World Cup opening ceremony, as well as the first fixture of the tournament: host nation Japan against Russia.

Vithushan Ehantharajah20 September 2019 08:45
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It's here!

Four years of build-up are over and the 2019 Rugby World Cup has arrived!

To the Far East rugby's showpiece tournament forays for the first time, with the World Cup in a second-tier rugby nation for the first time, ensuring an all together different experience for the 20 teams in Japan.

To kick things off this morning, have a read of Jack de Menezes's big preview of the tournament - the runners, the riders, the contenders and the pretenders, and everything else to expect over the next six weeks:

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2019 09:07
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We begin in Tokyo, with the typically fun fanfare and festivities that any opening ceremony brings, followed by our opening game - hosts Japan against Russia in Pool A.

Japan is a country of great culture and colour, and organisers have promised a spectacular beginning to the tournament - this could be some fun. We are expecting it all to get underway at 10.30am BST, so about an hour and fifteen minutes from now.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2019 09:13
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And what of today's curtain-raiser - well, it isn't perhaps the marquee game some would like, but Japan vs Russia is a fixture layered with intrigue nonetheless.

The Brave Blossoms were among the stars of the last World Cup, stunning South Africa in Brighton and very nearly reaching the quarter-finals. They are even better now than they were in 2015, and have prepared for their home tournament with an impressive Pacific Nations Cup win, and will be looking to establish themselves as the best of the Tier Two nations at the tournament. Though they were somewhat lacklustre in their final warm-up against South Africa, a summer win over Fiji shows what they are capable of.

Here's everything you need to know about Jamie Joseph's side:

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2019 09:18
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And Russia? Well, Russia have only made the tournament after a number of eligibility muddles saw Romania, Belgium and Spain given point deductions and thus knocked down the Rugby Europe qualifying ladder. And their warm-up efforts suggest it may be a real struggle for them in Japan.

The Russians have been beaten by both Irish club Connacht and second-tier English side Jersey Reds in the last month - not the best preparation for a major tournament. With Samoa, Ireland and Scotland also for company in Pool A, a win looks beyond Lyn Jones' side, but they'll be looking to make a better fist of themselves, and have excellent opportunity to do so in front of the eyes of the world today.

Here's our guide:

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2019 09:24
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Have you seen our Rugby World Cup 100, the definitive ranking of the 100 best players in World Cup history?

No? Here you go! Who would you rank as number one?

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2019 09:29
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Right, there are still more than two hours until kick-off, but let's get into some team news for today's opener...

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2019 09:30
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Team News - Japan

The hosts are without two of their best, controversial number eight Amanaki Mafi (who will go on trial after allegedly punching a Melbourne Rebels team mate after the World Cup is concluded) and dangerous wing Kenki Fukuoka.

Michael Leitch is a man of vast experience and a wise leader in the back row, and this pack has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of years. Look out for hooker Shota Horie. 

Lomano Lemeki will bring a blend of speed and power in Fukuoka's stead on the left in a backline that is always keen to play rugby and isn't afraid to get creative off set piece and in broken play.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2019 09:40
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Team News - Russia

Fans of Sale Sharks willbe familiar with a couple of Russia's stars, with prop Vladimir Morozov and now-departed second row Andrei Ostrikov both members of Steve Diamond's squad last year.

Yuri Kushnarev and Vasily Artemyev bring experience and control at 10 and 15, and if Russia are to produce a first-shock, it is through their two foremost creators that it is most likely to come. 

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2019 09:43
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Here's what the 20 teams are all playing for: the William Webb Ellis Cup.

Harry Latham-Coyle20 September 2019 09:57

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