Rugby World Cup 2019 Schedule Released
DUBLIN, Ireland – World Rugby officially released the Rugby World Cup schedule for the 2019 tournament hosted in Japan. The United States will first take the pitch on Thursday September 26, against England.
“Today the tournament comes to life for the players and fans.” said World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont, “The announcement of the match schedule and ticketing programme will generate excitement as we all look ahead to a tournament that will break new ground as the first in Asia.
“We are grateful to the cities and venues who have been at the heart of this process and will play such a central role in welcoming the world to Japan. We know that this will be a special, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Japan to welcome the world to the whole of this great nation and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for rugby fans from around the world to experience all Japan has to offer.”
Confirmation of the match schedule follows an extensive and thorough evaluation process undertaken by World Rugby in collaboration with Japan Rugby 2019 and key broadcasters. At the heart of the match schedule is player welfare and fan experience. All match venues will be within 45 minutes of a team camp, while the match schedule has been developed to optimize rest days for tier two teams ahead of tier one fixtures, enhancing preparation.
The schedule has also been developed following team feedback post Rugby World Cup 2015 with an equitable match schedule a core principle and a significant improvement has been achieved within the framework of a four pool, five teams per pool format. No tier two team plays a tier one team following a short rest period.
Kick-off times have also been carefully considered to optimise host nation engagement and key broadcast market audiences with matches kicking off no later than 19:45 local time.
World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper added: “The development of the match schedule is an important milestone for what will be a very special Rugby World Cup. Throughout this rigorous process, we have had participating team experience for teams and fans at heart.
“We have worked hard to deliver a match schedule that improves on the Rugby World Cup 2015 model, delivering a more balanced spread of matches across the four weeks of pool matches and greater rest periods for the emerging rugby nations ahead of matches against the top-ranked teams. These are the foundations that will assist the world’s top players to perform to their best in Japan.”
With Japan’s biggest venues optimized, the iconic International Stadium in Yokohama will also be at the tournament’s heart with four pool matches, including New Zealand v South Africa, Ireland v Scotland, England v France and Japan v Scotland, while also hosting both semi-finals and the Rugby World Cup 2019 final on 2 November.
“I think that we have a great match schedule in place and with the fixtures and locations announced we can all start to picture the stadiums and cities across Japan come alive with excitement and passion.” included Japan Rugby 2019 Chief Executive Akira Shimazu, “Fans in Japan and across the globe can now officially start planning their trips to Japan, deciding which city to visit to join the throngs of spectators at the venues. I am also looking forward to seeing more exchange taking place between the host cities and the countries of the participating teams.”
On a day the ticketing program was also announced, the organizing committee have confirmed that more than 60,000 fans have registered for tickets, underscoring their ambition to make Rugby World Cup 2019 the most accessible Rugby World Cup to date.
Ticket sales will begin in January 2018 with supporter tours and domestic priority sales, fans can also register their interest for Rugby World Cup 2019 tickets via the official tournament website www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets.
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