The 2023 Rugby World Cup has started

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Rugby World Cup 2023

The 2023 Rugby World Cup kicked off yesterday in France, and it promises to be an exhilarating tournament running from September 8 to October 28. With 20 national teams competing, the event is divided into four groups, each comprising five teams:

Group A:

  • France
  • New Zealand
  • Italy
  • Uruguay
  • Namibia

Group B:

  • Ireland
  • South Africa
  • Scotland
  • Tonga
  • Romania

Group C:

  • Fiji
  • Australia
  • Wales
  • Georgia
  • Portugal

Group D:

  • Argentina
  • England
  • Samoa
  • Japan
  • Chile

In the group stage, which started yesterday and will conclude on October 8, the top two teams from each group will advance to the quarterfinals. These eight teams will also secure a direct spot in the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

Key dates for the tournament include the quarterfinals scheduled for October 14 and 15, the semifinals set for October 20 and 21, a third-place playoff on October 27, and the grand final on October 28, all taking place at the iconic “Stade de France” stadium.

Matches are being played at nine stadiums across France, including Stade de Bordeaux, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, OL Stadium, Stade de Marseille, Stade de la Beaujoire, Stade de Nice, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, and Stadium de Toulouse.

This Rugby World Cup introduces some rule changes, including a shot clock that gives kickers 90 seconds for conversions and 60 seconds for penalties. It also marks the first usage of the TMO (Television Match Official) bunker system, where a referee can issue a yellow card, and an off-field official reviews the offense and can potentially upgrade it to a red card. This system was in trial in World Cup warm-up games.

Predictions for the tournament point to South Africa and New Zealand as top contenders, as they have been in previous years. Europe is also expected to pose a strong challenge, especially from France and Ireland, the Six Nations Grand Slam winners, who showcased their form with a dominant performance against England in a warm-up match.

In terms of historical champions, New Zealand and South Africa have each won the Rugby World Cup three times. Australia has clinched the title twice, while England secured victory once.

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