2019 Rugby World Cup to kick off today
2019-09-20 at 07:10
The 2019 Rugby World Cup will get underway this evening in the Japanese capital Tokyo.
The Rugby showpiece event with the participation of 20 nations will be worked-off at 12 venues until the 2nd of November.
The grand opening ceremony of the World Cup will be held at the Tokyo Stadium in the Japanese capital at 3pm Sri Lanka time.
Welshman Nigel Owens will whistle the start of the ninth edition of the Rugby World Cup with hosts and number 10th ranked Japan taking on 20th ranked Russia in Tokyo at 4.15pm Sri Lanka time.
The twenty competing nations are divided into four pools of five teams and will play the group games until the 13th of October.
The top two teams of the respective groups will qualify for the quarterfinals to be staged on the 19th and 20th of October.
The new custodian of the William Webb Ellis trophy will be decided after 47 gruelling encounters, with the Grand Finale slated to be held at the International Stadium Yokohama on the 2nd of November.
New Zealand beat Australia by 34-17 in the 2015 World Cup Final at Twickenham to claim back-to-back World Cups for the first time ever.
The All Blacks, the defending and three-time champions will enter the 2019 World Cup as overwhelming favourites once again with South Africa, England and Ireland predicted to make the Top Four.
This will be the first time the tournament is being held in Asia, and outside the traditional heartland of the rugby union and expected to be the most competitive Rugby World Cup in history.
Stay tuned to NewsRadio for up to the minute coverage from Japan.