A rundown of the Rugby World Cup groups for the 2019 tournament in Japan

Rugby World Cup Groups

The 2019 Rugby World Cup runs from Friday 20 September to Saturday 2 November, with games played across Japan. This page has all you need to know with regards the four pools at the tournament.

There are 20 teams involved in the World Cup, divided into four groups of five, and the two teams that finish top of the table in their pool after the group matches progress to the quarter-finals.

Twelve teams qualified automatically for RWC 2019 by finishing in the top three of their groups at the 2015 tournament in England. Those teams are New Zealand, who won back-to-back titles and are looking to secure a hat-trick in 2019, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France, England, Georgia, Japan and Italy.

Related: 2019 Rugby World Cup fixtures

The original pool draw was made in May 2017, with the 12 qualified teams split into various bands depending on their World Rugby Ranking at the time, with New Zealand, England, Australia and Ireland in the top band.

Rugby World Cup Groups

Line-ups: The Rugby World Cup groups after the pool draw in May 2017 (Getty Images)

Since then, the USA have qualified as Americas 1 and Uruguay have qualified as Americas 2, while Fiji and Tonga made it to the finals as Oceania 1 and Oceania 2 respectively.

After much controversy in the Rugby Europe Championship, which doubles a World Cup qualifier, Russia made it through to Japan as Europe 1.

Samoa went through to Japan 2019 as the Play-off Winner with a comfortable aggregate win over two legs against Germany.

Namibia secured the Africa 1 qualifying spot and a place in Pool B by winning the Africa Gold Cup, which also involved Kenya, Morocco, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

The Repechage tournament will be played in November 2018 in Marseille and involves four teams – Canada, Germany, Africa Gold Cup runners-up Kenya and Hong Kong, who won the Asia Championship and then beat the Cook Islands in a play-off.

These are the Rugby World Cup groups for Japan 2019 as they stand:

Rugby World Cup Groups

Pool A






Pool B

New Zealand

South Africa



Repechage Winner

Pool C






Pool D






Rugby World will bring you all the latest developments in the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup in Japan and at the tournament itself.

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