Last Updated on October 26, 2023
Watching the Rugby World Cup on UK TV
Updated in 2023, obviously the 2019 Rugby World Cup has now finished but all the information about connecting is still valid for the next one – Rugby World Cup in France 2023.
For rugby fans, it’s time to start getting excited and planning ‘work from home days’ – yes, it’s almost time for the 2023 Rugby World Cup. This year’s tournament is coming from Japan where the sport is slowly growing in popularity. With home advantage and an ever-improving team, Japan the current Pacific Nation Cup champions are hoping to take the step into the knockout stages this time.
It looks like it could be one of the most open competitions for some time and anyone with any sort of rugby interest will be counting the days. Of course, because it’s in Japan this will pose some logistical challenges for those in the Western hemisphere. The matches have been scheduled to try and maximize the audience so there’s no starts in the middle of the night in Europe.
Where to Watch the Rugby World Cup 2019 Online on TV
You’ll find a complete fixture list at the bottom of this page, including the various starting times. Basically, from Western Europe, it’s going to be morning when most matches are scheduled including some very early starts! So for midweek matches it’s going to be work from home, day off or a sickie!
Fortunately, there’s loads of different places to watch the Rugby World Cup on the TV and online. In the United Kingdom for example it’s being broadcast on free to air channels mainly the largest commercial channel – ITV. Most of the major games will be broadcast live on ITV 1, some will be on ITV 4 and all of them will be available online on the streaming service ITV Hub. So you should be able to watch live or later in the day without needing any sort of subscription channel.
If you’re not in the UK then here’s a list of the main commercial broadcasters for the Rugby World Cup. This isn’t a definitive list though so please add any others in the comments that you may be aware of. I’m fairly certain that all these channels also broadcast online too, so you can learn how to watch Channel 4 in the US or stream any of the other UK channels too..
- Argentina: ESPN
- Australia: Fox Sports and Network 10
- France: TF1
- Ireland: RTÉ and Eir Sport
- Japan: Nippon TV, NHK and J Sports
- New Zealand: TVNZ and Spark
- South Africa: SuperSport
- United States: NBC Sports and Univision
- Uruguay: ESPN
How to Watch ITV Rugby World Cup Coverage from Outside the UK
So for all those Rugby fans in countries where there’s plenty of coverage then there’s no real problem. However, this won’t be the case for all of us and in many countries it’s difficult to find a place to watch the competition. You would think that all the internet streaming services would solve this, however most media companies restrict access based on your physical location. So for example you can technically only watch the ITV coverage when you’re physically located in the United Kingdom, the same with TF1 which is only available in France.
But don’t worry you can bypass these silly blocks and watch any online TV channel you like irrespective of your location.
Here’s how it’s done
By using a simple program called a VPN then you can hide your location before you connect to any of these web sites. So if you’re in Spain then connect to a UK based server before you start to browse then all the UK TV channels will work online. You can watch the BBC, Channel 4 and of course enjoy the ITV World Cup coverage irrespective of your actual location. When you’re finished simply disconnect or change the location of your server. For sports fans abroad it opens up other options too especially for football and you can stream Match of the Day using the same method.
There are loads of these around and most that have a UK based server should work fine for accessing the ITV. Many are blocked automatically by BBC but there’s still lots of VPN services which work with all the UK main channels. If you don’t want to use a VPN then you could try this Smart DNS free trial which works well too but without the security features.
Here’s the one we use, it’s one of the biggest, mainstream services and is perfect for enjoying the 2019 World Cup coverage on the ITV as well as the BBC and all the other UK TV channels.
I’m not sure what the current prices are as there are frequently special deals but it’s usually the best value of the global VPN services. Don’t worry they don’t mention TV watching or the various channels, it’s a deliberate tactic to avoid being blocked.
First lets have a look at the different pools for the group stages –
Group Stages – Rugby World Cup 2023
There are a total of 20 teams taking part in the competition this year:
|Pool A||Pool B||Pool C||Pool D|
|New Zealand||South Africa||Portugal||Japan|
- New Zealand
- South Africa
Some mouth watering games there and certainly no easy groups although the British press have dubbed England’s group as the ‘group of death’ because of Argentina and France. Not sure that’s entirely true but it’s certainly not the easiest group in the competition’s first stages.
Complete Fixture list of the Rugby World Cup 2023
All the following fixtures are in UK time (GMT), remember the tournament is in Japan if you want to check your local time. Japan uses JST which is nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
France v Uruguay – 19:15 – ITV4
New Zealand v Namibia – 19:15 – ITV4
Samoa v Chile – 13:30 – ITV4
Wales v Portugal – 16:00 – ITV1
Ireland v Tonga – 19:15 – ITV1
South Africa v Romania – 13:30 – ITV1
Australia v Fiji – 16:15 – ITV1
England v Japan – 19:15 – ITV1
Italy v Uruguay – 16:00 – ITV4
France v Namibia – 19:15 – ITV4
Argentina v Samoa – 16:00 – ITV1
Georgia v Portugal – 12:30 – ITV1
England v Chile – 16:00 – ITV1
South Africa v Ireland – 19:15 – ITV1
Scotland v Tonga – 16:00 – ITV1
Wales v Australia – 19:15 – ITV1
Uruguay v Namibia – 16:00 – ITV4
Japan v Samoa – 19:30 – ITV4
New Zealand v Italy – 19:30 – ITV1
Argentina v Chile – 13:30 – ITV1
Fiji v Georgia – 16:15 – ITV1
Scotland v Romania – 19:15 – ITV1
Australia v Portugal – 16:15 – ITV4
South Africa v Tonga – 19:15 – ITV1
New Zealand v Uruguay – 19:15 – ITV4
France v Italy – 19:30 – ITV1
Wales v Georgia – 13:15 – ITV1
England v Samoa – 16:15 – ITV1
Ireland v Scotland – 19:15 – ITV1
Japan v Argentina – 11:30 – ITV1
Tonga v Romania – 16:15 – ITV3
Fiji v Portugal – 19:30 – ITV4
QF 1 – 15:00 – ITV1
QF 2 – 19:15 – ITV1
QF 3 – 15:00 – ITV1
QF 4 – 20:00 – ITV1
SF 1 – 19:30 – ITV1
SF 2 – 19:15 – ITV1
Bronze final – 19:30 – ITV1
Final – 19:00 – ITV1