Liam Williams Key Rugby World Cup questions for the armchair viewer (plus 10 games not to miss)

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The Rugby World Cup kicks off on September 20 and will be dominating the sporting agenda for the next six weeks until the final in Yokohama.

Twenty teams will be whittled down to eight after 40 pool matches, then the knockout rounds starting on October 19 will eventually produce the winner on November 2.

For many of you, rugby union will be an unfamiliar concept, so, here’s a simple Q&A to get you up to speed on what to expect and look out for at the World Cup…

Liam Williams HOW CAN I WATCH IT? 

Every game is on ITV, so they are all free-to-air. Ten of the lesser pool matches are on ITV4, but the other 38 matches, including all of those containing the home nations and the knockout matches, will be on ITV’s main channel. 

Given Japan is eight hours ahead of us in the UK, the matches will be mostly morning viewing, with kick-offs between 5.45am and 12.15pm. England’s pool matches all kick off between 9am and 11.45am, with the knockout stages scheduled to kick off between 8.15am and 11.15am.

ITV’s star-studded World Cup team including Brian O’Driscoll (top left), Jonny Wilkinson (top row, second right) and Sportsmail columnist Sir Clive Woodward (bottom row, second right)


What better way to start your weekend mornings by watching free sport in bed? And morning commutes will fly by if you can watch a game on your smartphone or tablet.

We all know football is undisputedly the world’s No 1 sport but rugby is quickly growing behind it

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