How will the Japan Rugby World Cup draw work?

So, its only days away till the draw for the Rugby World Cup draw takes place…so here’s everything you need to know.

When and where is the draw?

The RWC 2019 pool draw will take place on May 10, 2017, in Kyoto’s State Guest House.

Who will be in the draw?

Twelve of the 20 participating teams have already been determined with Argentina, Australia, England, France, Georgia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales automatically qualifying courtesy of finishing in the top three of their pools at Rugby World Cup 2015.

The remaining eight teams will be determined via the global qualification process.

How are the groups decided?

Like the past four Rugby World Cups, there will be four pools of five teams.

The 12 teams who have qualified automatically will be split into three bands based on their current world rankings, while the eight teams that come through the qualifiers will be divided into two more bands.

The four pools will contain one randomly-selected team from each band for a total of five teams in each group.

Band 1: The four highest-ranked directly-qualified teams (1-4 in the world rankings).

Band 2: The next four highest-ranked directly-qualified teams (5-8 in the world rankings).

Band 3: The final four directly-qualified teams.

The current rankings are….

  1. NEW ZEALAND 94.78
  2. ENGLAND 91.02
  3. AUSTRALIA 86.35
  4. IRELAND 83.18
  5. SCOTLAND 82.18
  6. WALES 82.16
  7. SOUTH AFRICA 81.79
  8. FRANCE 81.21
  9. ARGENTINA 79.91
  10. FIJI 76.46

When is the 2019 World Cup?

It starts on September 20, 2019, and ends on November 2. That means both of my son’s can’t make the trip with me, nor can my wife, she’s a  teacher….so it’s just me on this trip!

What are the venues in Japan?

  • Sapporo Dome, Sapporo City (capacity 41,410)
  • Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, Iwate Prefecture/Kamaishi City (capacity 16,187)
  • Kumagaya Rugby Ground, Saitama Prefecture/Kumagaya City (capacity 24,000)
  • New National Stadium Japan, Tokyo (capacity 80,000)
  • International Stadium Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture/Yokohama City (capacity 72,327)
  • Ogasayama Sports Park Ecopa Stadium, Shizuoka Prefecture (capacity 50,889)
  • Toyota Stadium, Aichi Prefecture/Toyota City (capacity 45,000)
  • Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Osaka Prefecture/Higashi Osaka City (capacity 30,000)
  • Kobe City Misaki Park Stadium, Kobe City (capacity 30,312)
  • Hakatanomori Football Stadium, Fukuoka City (capacity 22,563)
  • Kumamoto Prefectural Athletic Stadium, Kumamoto Prefecture/Kumamoto City (capacity 32,000)
  • Oita Stadium, Oita Prefecture (capacity 40,000)


Personally I’d like to see England based in Tokyo, however Kobe would also be a perfect location…my travel fate is in the lap of the Gods!

Once the venues are announced, it’s expected World Rugby will then announce plans on ticket allocation and how to book.