Well it feels like an eternity since the last Rugby World Cup, which was on the other side of the global pandemic. But it’s not long now until the Springboks officially defend the title they claimed in Japan back in 2019.
As September creeps closer and closer, rugby fans are starving for the sports pinnacle to return and see 20 nations battle it out for the most prestigious prize in the sport.
With the international scene being as even as we have ever seen, this Rugby World Cup is shaping up to be closest in the 36-year history of the event.
But it’s not too early to plan your Rugby World Cup viewing – or attending – plans. Here’s what all fans need to know – the where, when and how to catch it all, as the Rugby World Cup draws closer.
Where is the 2023 Rugby World Cup?
For the first time since 2007, the tournament will be held in France, across nine locations/stadiums. It’ll be solely held in France, unlike in 1991 where the country shared the hosting duties with the UK and Ireland. It’s the third time the country has hosted the event.
Many iconic venues will be back in action; grounds that have laid witness to some of the great Cup matches of the past.
When is the Rugby World Cup on?
September 9 – October 29 (AEST)
The 2023 Rugby World Cup kicks off on the 9th of September (AEST) at the famous Stade de France in Saint-Denis, in northern Paris, between the host nation France and regular competition heavyweights New Zealand.
RWC Opener | France v New Zealand, Pool A, Stade de France, Saint-Denis (Paris), September 9, 5:15am (AEST)
The two sides have some serious World Cup history, having played each other in the Final back in 2011. That was the lowest scoring Final in World Cup history; New Zealand beat France 8-7.
The Rugby World Cup Final will also take place at Stade de France, with kick-off on Sunday morning, October 29, at 6:00am AEST.
RWC Final | Stade de France, Saint-Denis (Paris), 6:00am (AEST)
Here are all the matches, via the RWC site, which includes key ticketing information.
How to watch the 2023 Rugby World Cup
All the Rugby World Cup action will be available and streamable on the Nine-owned Stan Sport. You’ll need a subscription to access the full coverage.
But Channel 9 on free-to-air television will air certain games; Wallabies matches and major games like the decider.
Rugby World Cup pools
POOL A | New Zealand, France, Italy, Uruguay, Namibia
POOL C | South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Romania
POOL C | Wales, Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Portugal
POOL D | England, Japan, Argentina, Samoa, Chile
The Wallabies’ Rugby World Cup pool matches?
Match 1 | Wallabies vs Georgia | 2:00am AEST, Sep 10 – Stade de France, Saint-Denis (Paris)
Match 2 | Wallabies vs Fiji | 1:00am AEST, Sep 18 – Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne (near Lyon)
Match 3 | Wallabies vs Wales | 5:00am AEST, Sep 25 – Parc Olimpique, Lyon
Match 4 | Wallabies vs Portugal | 2:45am, Oct 2 – Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Ètienne
For all the Wallabies fans out there, their campaign kicks off the day after the opener at the same venue, against Georgia. It’s a low pressure start to the campaign and a chance to get some good reps in and build cohesion before the greater challenges arrive.
Make no mistake, the Aussies will name a full-strength line-up for their opening pool match.
The Wallabies, who are currently ranked seventh in the world rugby rankings, are out to secure their first Rugby World Cup trophy since 1999.
Interestingly, for the third consecutive world cup in a row, the Wallabies are in the same pool as Wales and Fiji, who they have collectively beaten three out of four times.
All nine 2023 Rugby World Cup venues (and capacity)
- Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux (42,115)
- Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille (50,186)
- Parc Olimpique, Lyon (59,186)
- Stade Velodrome, Marseille (67,394)
- Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes (37,473)
- Stade de Nice, Nice (35,169)
- Stade de France, Saint-Denis (81,500)
- Stade Geoffory-Guichard, Saint-Étienne (41,965)
- Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse (33,150)
Who won the last Rugby World Cup?
The Springboks walked away victorious after the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan. They beat England in the Final, 32-12.
The All Blacks took out third placed with a seriously convincing win over Wales, 40-17.
Previous Rugby World Cup champions
Japan 2019 | Final: South Africa 32-12 England
England 2015 | Final: New Zealand 34-17 Australia
New Zealand 2011 | Final: New Zealand 8-7 France
France 2007 | Final: South Africa 15-6 England
Australia 2003 | Final: England 20-17 Australia
Wales 1999 | Final: Australia 35-12 France
South Africa 1995 | Final: South Africa 15-12 New Zealand
UK, Ireland & France 1991 | Final: Australia 12-6 England
Australia & New Zealand 1987 | Final: New Zealand 29-9 France