All Blacks kick off 2019 Rugby World Cup against Springboks

All Blacks kick off 2019 Rugby World Cup against Springboks”

The All Blacks are scheduled to face their old southern hemisphere foes in Yokohama on September 21, a day after hosts Japan kick off the competition against Europe's top qualifier, likely to be Romania, organisers announced in Tokyo on Thursday.

The tournament will culminate with the Final on 2 November 2019 in Yokohama.

Steve Hansen's team - ranked number one in the world in 2017 - are in Pool B with South African (ranked 5), Italy (14), the Africa 1 qualifier and the Repechage victor.

In their third group match, the Springboks play Italy on Friday 4 October in the Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa.

It will be the first time the two nations meet in the pool stage.

They will also play the Repechage victor at the 40,000-seat Oita Stadium on October 2 at 7.15pm.

In his reaction to the match schedule draw, Springbok coach Allister Coetzee said the opener against New Zealand will be a huge match in every sense.

Tonight when and where the All Blacks' group matches will be played will be revealed.

All Blacks first-five Beauden Barrett.

The 2019 tournament will be the first held outside the traditional rugby-playing countries as the game seeks to broaden the sport's global reach.

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