Meet the Teams – Rugby World Cup 2019

The very best from the northern and southern hemispheres go head to head in Japan this year. In total 20 nations will battle it out to lift the Webb Ellis Cup and it promises to be a tournament full of drama and memorable moments.

Check in on the early polls and predictions as we bring your perfect scrum into key teams, their world ranking and players to watch.

Every team will be desperate to go all the way, but there can only be one winner.


After the pain of Rugby World Cup 2015, England are hungry for success as they head to Japan. As hosts of the last tournament, they were eliminated in the pool stages, their quest for glory ending after just three matches. Now coached by Eddie Jones, they have rebuilt and are the hunt for glory.

Players to watch: Maro Itoje (Second row)

Played 44
Won 31
Lost 13
Drawn 0
Winning Percentage 70.45%
Points for 1,379
Points against 708
Biggest victory 111-13 Uruguay (Brisbane 2003)
Heaviest defeat 36-0 South Africa (Saint-Denis 2007)
World Rugby Ranking 3
Current Coach Eddie Jones
Rugby World Cup Kit View here


Having reached the quarter-final stage six times but never gone any further, Ireland, at the very least, are expected to break their semi-final duck in Japan. Coached by the innovative Joe Schmidt, they have a squad mixed with experience and talent. Now is the time for them to deliver.

Played 35
Won 21
Lost 14
Drawn 0
Winning Percentage 60%
Points for 973
Points against 662
Biggest victory 64-7 Namibia (Sydney 2003)
Heaviest defeat 36-12 France (Durban 1995)
World Rugby Ranking 1
Current Coach Joe Schmidt
Rugby World Cup Kit View here


Canada boasts a proud Rugby World Cup history after appearing in every tournament since its inception back in 1987. The Canucks reached the Quarter-Finals in 1991, but in more recent times they have struggled to match those heights. After four defeats at RRWC 2015, they are determined to produce a better showing in Japan.

Players to watch: Dth Van Der Merwe (Wing)

Played 29
Won 7
Lost 20
Drawn 2
Winning Percentage 24.14%
Points for 527
Points against 838
Biggest victory 72-11 Namibia (Toulouse 1999)
Heaviest defeat 79-15 New Zealand (Wellington 2011)
World Rugby Ranking 22
Current Coach Kingsley Jones
Rugby World Cup Kit View here


Jonny Wilkinson is the only player to have scored points in the final of two Rugby World Cups. He holds the record for most drop goals made at the Rugby World Cup, with 14!


The USA are regular participants at the Rugby World Cups, appearing in every tournament bar the 1995 edition. So far, they have failed to shine on the biggest stage, their total number of wins standing at three. However, under new head coach Gary Gold, they will be out to cause an upset in Japan.

Players to watch: Blaine Scully (Full-back/Wing)

Played 25
Won 3
Lost 22
Drawn 0
Winning Percentage 12%
Points for 350
Points against 892
Biggest victory 39-26 Japan (Gosford 2003)
Heaviest defeat 64-0 South Africa (London 2015)
World Rugby Ranking 13
Current Coach Gary Gold
Rugby World Cup Kit View here


Russia are competing in only their second ever Rugby World Cup after qualifying for the 2019 edition of the tournament. Their debut appearance was in 2011, but they failed to record a victory in New Zealand. The Russian’s aim in Japan is to secure that elusive first-ever competition victory.

Players to watch: Vasily Artemyev (Full-back/Wing)

Played 4
Won 0
Lost 4
Drawn 0
Winning Percentage 0%
Points for 57
Points against 196
Biggest victory N/A
Heaviest defeat 62-12 Ireland (Rotorua 2011)
World Rugby Ranking 20
Current Coach Lyn Jones
Rugby World Cup Kit View here


The Webb Ellis Cup was made by a London jeweller in 1906, 81 years before the first RWC tournament. Richie McCaw held it aloft in 2015 as New Zealand won the tournament for a second time in a row.


Considered the most dominant force in Europe of countries outside of the Six Nations, Georgia have greatly improved after appearing at their first Rugby World Cup back in 2003. Renowned for producing some of the best scrummagers in the world, several of their forwards play their club rugby in France.

Players to watch: Mikheil Nariashvili (Prop)

Played 16
Won 4
Lost 12
Drawn 0
Winning Percentage 25%
Points for 197
Points against 524
Biggest victory 30-0 Namibia (Lens 2007)
Heaviest defeat 84-6 England (Perth 2003)
World Rugby Ranking 12
Current Coach Milton Haig
Rugby World Cup Kit View here


After defeating two-time world champions South Africa at the last tournament, Japan head into the Rugby World Cup 2019 full of optimism. The hosts have continued to grow under head coach Jamie Joseph, who has carried on the work of his predecessor Eddie Jones, and they are dreaming of a first-ever Quarter-Final appearance.

Players to watch: Kenki Fukuoka (Wing)

Played 28
Won 4
Lost 22
Drawn 2
Winning Percentage 14.29%
Points for 526
Points against 1,259
Biggest victory 52-8 Zimbabwe (Belfast 1991
Heaviest defeat 145-17 New Zealand (Bloemfontein 1995)
World Rugby Ranking 10
Current Coach Jamie Joseph
Rugby World Cup Kit View here


Ireland have a 100% winning record against 10 of the 16 teams they have faced at Rugby World Cup. They have yet to play a match against England at any of the tournaments.

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