The 2023 World Cup in France will kick off with a massive clash between hosts France and three-time champions New Zealand in the opening match on 8 September, 2023.
On Friday, World Rugby and the France 2023 Organising Committee announced the much-anticipated match schedule.
Rugby World Cup 2023 is set to be nationwide tournament involving all of France. Each host city will host a minimum of four games and welcome at least one RWC 2019 quarter-finalist.
In line with the mission to make the tournament the most accessible World Cup to date and attract new audiences in France, 80 percent of the population will live within two hours from a match venue, while international fans will get to see the very best of the host nation.
An extended pool phase will facilitate the very best experience for teams and fans alike with the big matches concentrated across Wednesday to Sunday, while for the first time Mondays and Tuesdays will be clear.
One highlight of the opening weekend is a double-header in Marseille, a fan-favourite at the 2007 tournament. RWC 2019 runners-up England will launch their Pool D campaign against Argentina on the first Saturday, while reigning champions South Africa will start their title defence against Scotland the following day, offering fans two world-class fixtures in one location over an epic late September weekend in the south of France.
A streamlined nine host cities will play host to the world’s top 20 teams with the top two from each pool progressing to the quarter-finals. In typical style, the pool phase concludes with an epic weekend of matches with Six Nations rivals Scotland and Ireland going head-to-head in Saint-Denis and fan-favourites Japan facing Argentina in Nantes.
Marseille (Stade Vélodrome) and Saint-Denis (Stade de France) will host the quarter-finals on 14-15 October. The 80,000 capacity national symbol of Stade de France will also host the two semi-finals on Friday 20 and Saturday, 21 October, the bronze final on Friday, 27 October and will set the scene for the Rugby World Cup 2023 champions to be crowned on Saturday, 28 October.
Kick-off times for all 48 fixtures will be confirmed in due course.
TICKETING DETAILS ANNOUNCED ON 4 MARCH
With momentum building, the 2023 World Cup ticketing programme will launch later next month as the first tickets for the showcase competition will go on sale.