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2019 Rugby World Cup Match Schedule Offers Ireland Big Opportunity

2019 Rugby World Cup Match Schedule Offers Ireland Big Opportunity
By PJ Browne Updated

The match schedule has been announced for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Ireland will play Scotland in their opening game of the tournament. That will be followed by an encounter with hosts Japan six days later.

Ireland's two other opponents in Pool A have yet to be confirmed.

Ireland 2019 Rugby World Cup fixtures (Irish time)

Ireland vs Scotland, 8:45am September 22nd - International Stadium, Yokohama
Ireland vs Japan, 8:15am September 28th - Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa
Ireland vs Europe 1, 11:15am October 3rd - Kobe Misaki Stadium
Ireland vs Play-off winner, 11:45am October 12th, Hakatanomori Football Stadium

Europe 1 will be the highest-ranked team, apart from Georgia, from the Rugby Europe Championship. The final team in Ireland's group will be the winner of a play-off between the third-placed team from Oceania and the second highest-ranked team, apart from Georgia, from the Rugby Europe Championship.

For Ireland's chances of progressing beyond the quarter-final stage of the tournament - something they have never managed previously - it could not be a more favourable schedule. Unlike 2015, when Ireland's hardest game of the pool stage was also the final one, Ireland's tougher opponents - Scotland and Japan - will be faced early in the competition. It leaves three weeks between Ireland's game against Japan and the quarter-finals.

Two years ago, Ireland played France in the last game of Pool D. It was an attritional game, one which saw Ireland lose Paul O'Connell, Johnny Sexton and Peter O'Mahony to injury and later Sean O'Brien to suspension. A week later, Ireland would be out of the tournament after losing to Argentina.

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In terms of rest and preparation time for the quarter-final, it is an incredible opportunity for Ireland.

Tickets for the tournament go on sale in January.

The opening game of the tournament will be between Japan and Europe 1 on September 20th. The final takes place on November 2nd.

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Photo by Dave Rogers - World Rugby/World Rugby via Sportsfile

See Also: 5 Reasons World Rugby Found Fault With The Irish 2023 Bid

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