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Rugby World Cup 2019 live stream: how to watch for free, anywhere in the world

(Image credit: Rugby World Cup 2019)

Has it really been four years? It seems only last month Japan were causing the upset of the last Rugby World Cup by beating South Africa in the pool stage, and now they're hosting the tournament themselves.

They've already had another massive win in this competition, as well, beating Ireland 19-12 to give themselves a fantastic chance of making it out of their pool.

New Zealand ran out winners at Twickenham Stadium in 2015, and the All Blacks will fancy their chances after beating two-times winners South Africa 23-13 in their opening pool stage fixture before thrashing both Canada and Namibia.

They'll face plenty of competition for their crown, however, not least from an Ireland side who this year must surely go beyond the quarter-finals for the first time. They managed to put that Japan defeat behind them immediately with a 35-0 victory over Russia.

England meanwhile managed a 35-3 win against Tonga in their opening game, and improved to make it three bonus-point wins from three by defeating USA and Argentina. They still have France to come, but have already made it to the knockout stage.

Wales will also fancy their chances too having beaten Australia in another thrilling encounter between the two sides; making the quarters for them now looks a formality.

With 20 teams vying for the trophy, covering every continent, it's fair to say the world's eyes will be on Japan. But those eyes are useless unless they have something to see.

Here we've put together a guide for how you can watch all the matches live on TV, online and on the go, wherever you are in the world.

Watch the Rugby World Cup in the UK

(Image credit: ITV)

ITV is where you'll find all the action from the World Cup if you're situated in the UK, meaning you won't have to pay a penny for the privilege. Its +1 channel might also be of use if you're hoping for an extra hour in bed before those early morning starts.

As well as showing all the matches live, it'll also have a late-night highlights show for those of us who will be at work, asleep or otherwise engaged in the mornings over the next month and a half.

ITV has no 4K facility, but those games will be available in HD on your television or standard definition via its website and the ITV Player app.

Find out below how you can access those services even if you're not in the UK at the time of a certain choice fixture.

Watch the Rugby World Cup from abroad using a VPN

Trying to access ITV streams from outside the UK – if you're on holiday or working abroad, for example – is still a problem. The service will know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access – even if you’re a UK national. This will be the same if you try to access any geo-blocked stream from around the world.

So, you’ll need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to help you get around this obstacle. A VPN creates a private connection between your device and the internet, such that the servers and services you’re accessing aren’t aware of what you’re doing. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.

VPNs are as useful for banking as they are at trying to watch video content or access websites that people in your location are not supposed to do. So, whether you want to watch live rugby, enjoy another country’s Netflix library or just keep your browsing data private, then they’re well worth considering.

There are many VPN providers out there, with some more reliable and safe than others. As a rule, we’d suggest a paid-for service and would recommend the following:

- ExpressVPN

You can get three months free when you sign up to a year-long plan, bringing VPN access to smart devices including the Amazon Fire TV Stick, laptops, TVs and both Android and iOS mobiles and tablets. Express also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

- NordVPN

Which comes in at as little as $2.99 (£2.29) per month and features 24/7 assistance

Once you’ve made your choice, all you need to do is sign in to your VPN service through whichever device you’d like to use to watch the match. When prompted to select a server, you need to pick one which is based in the country whose content you’d like to access. Then navigate to the relevant video streaming app or website and you’re in.

You can find a full list of the world's broadcasters with rights to show live Rugby World Cup matches here.

Watch the Rugby World Cup in the USA

(Image credit: NBC Sports)

Exclusive rights to show the Rugby World Cup in the USA belong to NBC Sports Gold, which is offering a pass to stream all 48 live matches across the tournament, commercial-free, for $199.99. A single match pass otherwise costs $29.99 – a saving if you think your nation is unlikely to make it to the knockout stage.

Better value for Rugby fans, though, would be its all-access premium pass, which will set you back $229.99 but also unlock a whole season's worth of action, including the Six Nations and Rugby League Premiership. This pass would cost $79.99 on its own, without World Cup coverage.

You can choose your NBC Sports Gold Rugby World Cup pass here.

If you're going to be out of the country over the next month and a half, you can still use your pass with a VPN. See our above section to find out how to access geo-blocked streams.

Pool stage highlights

All times shown are GMT.

October

England vs Argentina, 9.00am – Saturday 5th

Argentina vs USA, 5.45am – Wednesday 9th

Scotland vs Russia, 8.15am – Wednesday 9th

Wales vs Fiji, 10.45am – Wednesday 9th

England vs France, 9.15am – Saturday 12th

Ireland vs Samoa, 11.45am – Saturday 12th

Wales vs Uruguay, 9.15am – Sunday 13th

Japan vs Scotland, 11.45am – Sunday 13th