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All Blacks opening Rugby World Cup 2019 opponents revealed

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allblacks.com     02 Nov 2017     Getty Images

With Italy and two yet to be determined opponents from Africa and the Repechage also joining the All Blacks and South Africa in Pool B, the winner of the opening clash will be favoured to top the pool. 

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The clash against South Africa has been given star-billing at the 72,327 capacity Yokohama Stadium. The All Blacks second clash will be against the Repechage winner at 40,000 seat Oita Stadium. The third clash against the Africa 1 qualifier will be staged at Tokyo National stadium, which boasts a capacity of just under 50,000. The All Blacks final pool match will be against Italy at the 45,000 seat City of Toyota Stadium in Aichi.

Should the All Blacks qualify top in Pool B, they will move onto a quarterfinal against the runner-up in Pool A which could be either Ireland, Scotland or Japan.

Speaking from London, New Zealand Rugby Chief Executive Steve Tew said "It's exciting that the match schedule has been announced and is another big milestone in the All Blacks preparation for Rugby World Cup 2019.

"With two years out, today's announcement begins to really bring to life the tournament for players and fans. All Blacks fans can now begin to start planning their travel and find out how to get tickets to the matches."
All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen, who is also in London with the team preparing for this weekend's Barbarians match, said "It's great that the venues and cities for our matches at Rugby World Cup 2019 have been confirmed and it shows that we are another step closer to the tournament.

"The World Cup in Japan will be a fantastic event and now our fans know where we are going to play, they can begin making their travel plans in earnest."

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said the tournament will be a ground-breaking occasion in Asia.

“We are grateful to the cities and venues who 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.”

The Rugby World Cup 2019 will be hosted in Japan between 20 September and 2 November 2019.

ALL BLACKS' 2019 RUGBY WORLD CUP POOL GAMES


Saturday 21 September
New Zealand v South Africa
International Stadium, Yokohama

Wednesday 2 October
New Zealand v Repechage winner
Oita Stadium, Oita

Sunday 6 October
New Zealand v Africa 1
Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo

Saturday 12 October
New Zealand v Italy
City of Toyota Stadium, Toyota

Ticket sales will begin in January 2018 with supporter tours and domestic priority sales and fans can register their interest for Rugby World Cup 2019 tickets via the official tournament website www.rugbyworldcup.com/tickets