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  1. ITV Report

Rugby World Cup 2019: Who's playing when and how you can watch it live on ITV

Home captains Owen Farrell, Alun Wyn Jones, Stuart McInally and Rory Best. Credit: PA

Do you know your off-loads from your collisions? What about the difference between a ruck and a maul?

How are you at understanding what makes a good three-quarter over a standout half-back? And that’s before we get on to discussing locks, props, flankers and finishers.

Whether you're a rugby nut or a casual fan, the ninth Rugby World Cup will soon become must-see breakfast and morning entertainment.

The tournament, held in Japan, promises to be one of the most open yet.

So here’s everything you need to know about who’s playing who, when, where and how you can get to see the action – all of which is live across ITV - and how to catch up if you're not a morning person.

The line up of pundits bringing insight and opinion to ITV's coverage of the Rugby World Cup. Credit: ITV Sport

When does it all kick-off?

The World Cup opening ceremony is on from 10.30am UK-time on Friday, 20 September, followed by the opening game kicking off at 11.45am, as hosts Japan take on Russia.

The final will be staged some six weeks later at 9am on Friday, 2 November.

Who’s playing and how does the tournament work?

There are 20 nations playing, including all the Home Nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, plus the big hitters of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, France and Italy.

Other nations include the likes of Fiji, Namibia, Tonga, Samoa and Canada.

There will be a total of 48 matches with the pool stages featuring four groups of five teams, for 40 pool matches in total.

Pool A: Ireland, Japan, Russia, Samoa, Scotland

Pool B: Canada, Italy, Namibia, New Zealand, South Africa

Pool C: Argentina, England, France, Tonga, United States

Pool D: Australia, Fiji, Georgia, Uruguay, Wales

The top two in each group qualify for the quarter-finals, with the four winners heading to the semi-finals.

There’s also a bronze medal game for the losing semi-finalists, plus, of course, the World Cup Final itself.

When and where are the games being played?

The 12 venues are spread across Japan. Credit: Rugby World Cup

There are 12 venues across Japan, with the final to played in a purpose-built stadium in Yokohama.

Pool matches take place pretty early for TV and radio audiences in the UK, the earliest games kicking off at 4.15am (others are 5.45am or 6.15am), with a middle game between 8.15am and 9.15am and a later game between 10.45am up to 11.45am.

For the full rundown on when ITV is showing games, see here.

The pool stage runs from 20 September to 13 October, before the quarter-finals are staged over the weekend of 19-20 October (8.15am, 9am and 11.15am kick-offs).

The semis are to be held on 26-27 October, both 9am kick-offs.

Third place play off: 1 November at 9am

Final: 2 November at 9am.

All Blacks captain Richie McCaw lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in 2015. Credit: PA

How does the tournament pan out for the Home Nations?

England (Pool C):

vs Tonga, Sunday 22 September 11:15am

vs USA, Thursday 26 September 11:45am

vs Argentina, Saturday 5 October 9:00am

vs France, Saturday 12 October 9.15am

Scotland (Pool A):

vs Ireland, Sunday 22 September 8.45am

vs Samoa, Monday 30 September 11.15am

Vs Russia, Wednesday 9 October 8.15am

Vs Japan, Sunday 13 October 8.45am

Ireland (Pool A):

vs Scotland, Sunday 22 September 8.45am

vs Japan Saturday 28 September 8.15am

vs Russia Thursday 3 October 11.15am

vs Samoa, Saturday 12 October 11.45am

Wales (Pool D):

vs Georgia, Monday 23 September 11.15am

vs Australia, Sunday 29 September 8.45am

vs Fiji, Wednesday 9 October 10.45am

vs Uruguay, Sunday 13 October 9.15am

The Webb Ellis Cup takes its name from William Webb Ellis. Credit: PA

What are they playing for?

The Webb Ellis Cup is the prize they're all chasing.

It's named after William Webb Ellis, who is credited with 'picking up the ball and running with it' while at Rugby School in the 1820s and thus "invented" rugby.

The account has been questioned by historians since, but his name remains on the trophy, which measures 38cm tall, weighs 4.5kg and is gilded silver.

New Zealand are the most successful nation, having lifted the world crown on three occasions.

England's only triumph was in 2003.

Sir Clive Woodward, former World Cup-winning England coach, is part of ITV Sport's team. Credit: PA

Where can you catch the action?

If you can’t get to Japan (!),then ITV has full live coverage of all games across its network, chiefly on the main ITV channel but with a few games on ITV4.

Twitter account @ITVRugby will feature all the tries and key moments of live broadcast games seconds after they happen.

The Instagram and Facebook accounts will take viewers behind the scenes in Japan with regular takeovers from presenters and pundits.

Fans can watch all games live and on the go with the ITV Hub app offering short highlights of every match, exclusive interviews, top moments of the day and much more on the dedicated Rugby World Cup site: https://www.itv.com/rugbyworldcup2019