Wallabies to open World Cup campaign against Fiji

Rugby World Cup
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

The Wallabies will open their 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign against Fiji, set to play their pool matches at four different venues.

That first match, on Saturday September 21, at1:35pm local, will be in the north of Japan in Sapporo, before they head to Tokyo to take on Wales eight days later.

Those two openers loom as their toughest challenges of the preliminary stages, with one of Canada or Uruguay and Georgia rounding out the pool matches.

After the Tokyo clash, the Wallabies head to Oita on Japan’s southern-most island Kitakyushu for a match against Americas 2 (Canada or Uruguay), before returning to Ecopa, just south of the Japanese capital, to take on Georgia.

It’s a far cry from their draw at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, where they played their final two pool matches at Twickenham, going on ultimately play five matches in a row there on their run to the World Cup final.

In 2015 the Wallabies travelled to the USA on the way to the UK, before setting up camp in Bath ahead of their opening match in Cardiff.

Ben Volvola in action for Fiji against the Wallabies in the 2015 World Cup. Photo: Getty ImagesWith Sapporo their first stop, that seems a likely place for a camp in the lead up to their Fiji clash, out of the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, but where the Wallabies will be able to base themselves is yet to be decided.

Training and accommodation is selected on a ballot system, which fell in Australia’s favour in 2015, but there is still plenty to play out before the Japan iteration is sorted out.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said he wasn’t worried by the travel his team would have to undertake.

“t doesn't matter what we end up doing or where we end up going, we'll be prepared for it around not being too strict,” he said.

“It's going to be a busy, busting environment and it may not be always, like you get in an England or a South Africa or Australia around size of places and we just got to go with the flow and enjoy the experience.”

Cheika said there was plenty of time to read into the venues and settle on a plan of attack, but the side couldn’t get too bogged down in the specifics.

“The one in Oita we'll have to find out a bit more about but we've got access to all that info,” he said.

The 2019 Rugby World Cup fixture. Photo: World Rugby“We don't need to know now what colour the grass is.

“We've got to be very prepared in the background and then be very relaxed about what happens because it's not going to always flow how you want it and you can't let those things ever derail you.”

The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be split between tOita and Tokyo and should the Wallabies qualify, they will find themselves back in Oita in the final eight.

Tokyo and Yokohama will host the semi-finals, with Yokohama also the location for the World Cup final.

Some of the other blockbuster clashes include an opening round Pool A match between New Zealand and South Africa, set to be a tournament-defining clash.

Ticketing information was also announced at the event, with tickets on sale on January 27, 2018.

For more information, click here.

FIXTURE

Rugby World Cup 2019 - Wallabies pool matches

Australia vs Fiji, Saturday September 21, 1:45pm local,  2:45pm AEST Sapporo Dome

Australia vs Wales - Saturday September 29, 4:45pm local, 5:45pm AEST, Tokyo Stadium

Australia vs Americas 2 - Saturday Octoeber 5, 2:15pm local, 3:15pm AEST, Oita Stadium

Australia vs Georgia - Friday October 11, 7:15pm local, 8:15pm AEST, Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa

Quarter-finals 

QF1 - Winner Pool C vs Runner-up Pool D, Saturday October 19, 4:15pm local, 5:15pm AEST Oita Stadium

QF2 - Winner Pool B vs Runner-up Pool A, Saturday October 19, 7:15pm local, 8:15pm AEST, Tokyo Stadium

QF3 - Winner Pool D vs Runner-up Pool C, Sunday October 20, 4:15pm local, 5:15pm AEST, Oita Stadium

QF4 - Winner Pool A vs Runner-up Pool B, Sunday October 20, 7:15pm local, 8:15pm AEST Tokyo Stadium

Semi-finals

SF1 - Winner QF1 vs Winner QF2, Saturday October 26, 5pm local, 6pm AEST, Yokohama International Stadium

SF2 - Winner QF3 vs Winner QF3, Sunday October 27, 6pm local, 7pm AEST, Yokohama International Stadium

Bronze final

Loser SF1 vs Loser SF 2, Friday November 1, 6pm local, 7pm AEST Tokyo Stadium

Final

Winner SF1 vs winner SF2, Saturday November 2, 6pm local,  7pm AEST Yokohama International Stadium