PARIS. – The Rugby World Cup gets underway on Friday, September 8, with France taking on New Zealand.
The final will be played on Saturday, October 28.
South Africa were the winners of the last tournament – in Japan in 2019 – when they beat England in the final,
The Springboks, who have the likes of flyhalf Manie Libbok, will be among the favourites again this year.
New Zealand, as ever, will be the team to beat, especially after their dominant showing at the Rugby Championship.
However, a strong European challenge is expected, not least from France and Six Nations Grand Slam winners Ireland, who have yet to put their best foot forward at a World Cup.
Where is it?
The 2023 Rugby World Cup will be played in France across nine stadiums in nine cities. The final will be played at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis (Paris).
Who is playing?
A total of 20 teams have qualified for the Rugby World Cup. These teams have been split into four pools of five, with each pool getting one team from five ‘bands’.
Band one featured the four highest-ranked teams from when the draw for the tournament was made (South Africa, New Zealand, England, Wales). Band two comprised the next four highest-ranked teams (Ireland, Australia, France, Japan) and band three the four after that (Scotland, Argentina, Fiji, Italy).
Each side in the first three bands qualified automatically for the tournament owing to their world ranking, while the further two bands comprised the sides who had made it into the tournament via qualifying (Samoa, Georgia, Uruguay, Tonga, Namibia, Romania, Chile, Portugal).
Who is in what pool?
Chile – Telegraph