England Rugby World Cup 2023 Fixtures, Squad And Team News

The Rugby World Cup is a quadrennial celebration of one of the most exhilarating and fiercely competitive sports on the planet. In 2023, the Rugby World Cup took center stage, captivating fans worldwide with its blend of skill, strength, and strategy. England, a team with a rich history in the sport, entered the tournament as runners-up from the previous edition in 2019. However, the atmosphere surrounding the team was less than jubilant.

A Glimpse into the Past

In 2019, England, under the guidance of coach Eddie Jones, reached the pinnacle of the Rugby World Cup, securing a spot in the showpiece final. Despite their impressive journey to the final match, their dreams of lifting the coveted Webb Ellis Cup were dashed by South Africa, who outplayed them with a final score of 32-12. The defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for England, leaving them with a sense of unfinished business.

England’s journey to the 2019 final was characterized by resolute defense, clinical attack, and the ability to adapt to different opponents. Their performances were lauded, and expectations ran high for the team’s future endeavors on the international stage.

A Rollercoaster of Emotions

In the year following their World Cup final appearance, England showcased their prowess by clinching the Six Nations title in 2020. This victory fueled hope and excitement among fans and pundits alike. The team seemed to be on an upward trajectory, and the “feelgood factor” was palpable.

However, fast forward three years, and the landscape had shifted dramatically. The once-optimistic mood had given way to skepticism and concern. England’s performance graph had taken a sharp nosedive, with a string of disappointing results. Out of their last six matches leading up to the 2023 Rugby World Cup, England had suffered five defeats—a stark contrast to the triumphant days of the Six Nations victory.

One particularly humbling moment came when England faced Fiji in the final Rugby World Cup warm-up match, a fixture that had never seen them defeated before. This loss served as a wake-up call, highlighting the challenges that lay ahead in France.

The Challenge Ahead

With the Rugby World Cup 2023 on the horizon, the spotlight turned to Steve Borthwick, the coach entrusted with the formidable task of reigniting England’s spark. Borthwick faced the arduous challenge of revitalizing the team and reigniting their passion for the game. The prospect of a disappointing tournament loomed large, and a premature exit would mean a painful four-year wait for another shot at glory.

In the midst of this challenging period, England fans and rugby enthusiasts worldwide eagerly awaited the team’s next steps. The journey ahead was fraught with uncertainty, but it was also an opportunity for redemption and resurgence.

England’s Path at Rugby World Cup 2023

As the Rugby World Cup 2023 unfolded, England found themselves placed in Pool D for the initial stage of the tournament. They were set to face formidable opponents, including Argentina, Chile, Japan, and Samoa. The group stage was a critical phase where each match held the key to advancement or elimination.

The Fixture List

England’s fixture list for the pool stage was as follows:

  • Saturday, 9th September: England vs. Argentina (8pm, Stade de Marseille) ITV1 / ITVX
  • Sunday, 17th September: England vs. Japan (8pm, Stade de Nice) ITV1 / ITVX
  • Saturday, 23rd September: England vs. Chile (4:45pm, Stade Pierre-Mauroy) ITV1 / ITVX
  • Saturday, 7th October: England vs. Samoa (4:45pm, Stade Pierre-Mauroy) ITV1 / ITVX

These matches would determine England’s fate in the tournament, and each one carried immense significance.

The Venues

The Rugby World Cup 2023 unfolded across nine stadiums in nine captivating French cities. The final, a culmination of weeks of intense competition, would be held at the iconic Stade de France in Saint-Denis, a suburb of Paris. Here are the venues that bore witness to the highs and lows of this epic sporting event:

  • Stade de France (capacity 80,698) – Saint-Denis, Paris
  • Stade de Marseille (67,394) – Marseille
  • OL Stadium (59,186) – Lyon
  • Stade Pierre-Mauroy (50,186) – Lille
  • Stade de Bordeaux (42,115) – Bordeaux
  • Stade Geoffroy-Guichard (41,965) – Saint-Étienne
  • Stade de Nice (35,624) – Nice
  • Stade de la Beaujoire (35,322) – Nantes
  • Stade de Toulouse (33,150) – Toulouse

These stadiums became the battlegrounds where teams from around the world would compete for glory, and each one had its unique charm and character.

Pool Allocation

In the world of rugby, pools play a pivotal role in determining the course of the tournament. England found themselves in Pool D, alongside Japan, Argentina, Samoa, and Chile. Each team brought its own style and strengths to the mix, promising a captivating battle for supremacy.

Pool A:

  • New Zealand
  • France
  • Italy
  • Uruguay
  • Namibia

Pool B:

  • South Africa
  • Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Tonga
  • Romania

Pool C:

  • Wales
  • Australia
  • Fiji
  • Georgia
  • Portugal

Pool D:

  • England
  • Japan
  • Argentina
  • Samoa
  • Chile

The pools were a melting pot of rugby talent, and the competition was set to be fierce.

The Full Fixture Schedule

The Rugby World Cup 2023 featured a packed schedule of matches, with teams from across the globe competing in pool matches before advancing to the knockout stages. Here is an overview of the pool matches:


  • Friday, Sept 8: France vs. New Zealand, Stade de France, 8.15pm (BST)
  • Saturday, Sept 9: Italy vs. Namibia, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, 12.00pm
  • Saturday, Sept 9: Ireland vs. Romania, Stade de Bordeaux, 2.30pm
  • Saturday, Sept 9: Australia vs. Georgia, Stade de France, 5pm
  • Saturday, Sept 9: England vs. Argentina, Stade de Marseille, 8pm
  • Sunday, Sept 10: Japan vs. Chile, Stade de Toulouse, 12pm
  • Sunday, Sept 10: South Africa vs. Scotland, Stade de Marseille, 4.45pm
  • Sunday, Sept 10: Wales vs. Fiji, Stade de Bordeaux, 8pm
  • Thursday, Sept 14: France vs. Uruguay, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 8pm
  • Friday, Sept 15: New Zealand vs. Namibia, Stadium de Toulouse, 8pm
  • Saturday, Sept 16: Samoa vs. Chile, Stade de Bordeaux, 2pm – ITV 4
  • Saturday, Sept 16: Wales vs. Portugal, Stade de Nice, 4.45pm
  • Saturday, Sept 16: Ireland vs. Tonga, Stade de la Beaujoire, 8pm
  • Sunday, Sept 17: South Africa vs. Romania, Stade de Bordeaux, 2pm
  • Sunday, Sept 17: Australia vs. Fiji, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, 4.45pm
  • Sunday, Sept 17: England vs. Japan, Stade de Nice, 8pm
  • Wednesday, Sept 20: Italy vs. Uruguay, Stade de Nice, 4.45pm – ITV 4
  • Thursday, Sept 21: France vs. Namibia, Stade de Marseille, 8pm – ITV 4
  • Friday, Sept 22: Argentina vs. Samoa, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, 4.45pm
  • Saturday, Sept 23: Georgia vs. Portugal, Stadium de Toulouse, 1pm
  • Saturday, Sept 23: England vs. Chile, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 4.45pm
  • Saturday, Sept 23: South Africa vs. Ireland, Stade de France, 8pm
  • Sunday, Sept 24: Scotland vs. Tonga, Stade de Nice, 4.45pm
  • Sunday, Sept 24: Wales vs. Australia, OL Stadium, 8pm
  • Wednesday, Sept 27: Uruguay vs. Namibia, OL Stadium, 4.45pm – ITV 4
  • Thursday, Sept 28: Japan vs. Samoa, Stade de Toulouse, 8pm – ITV 4
  • Friday, Sept 29: New Zealand vs. Italy, OL Stadium, 8pm
  • Saturday, Sept 30: Argentina vs. Chile, Stade de la Beaujoire, 2pm
  • Saturday, Sept 30: Fiji vs. Georgia, Stade de Bordeaux, 4.45pm
  • Saturday, Sept 30: Scotland vs. Romania, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 8pm
  • Sunday, Oct 1: Australia vs. Portugal, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, 4.45pm – ITV 4
  • Sunday, Oct 1: South Africa vs. Tonga, Stade de Marseille, 8pm
  • Thursday, Oct 5: New Zealand vs. Uruguay, OL Stadium, 8pm – ITV 4
  • Friday, Oct 6: France vs. Italy, OL Stadium, 8pm
  • Saturday, Oct 7: Wales vs. Georgia, Stade de la Beaujoire, 2pm
  • Saturday, Oct 7: England vs. Samoa, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 4.45pm
  • Saturday, Oct 7: Ireland vs. Scotland, Stade de France, 8pm
  • Sunday, Oct 8: Japan vs. Argentina, Stade de la Beaujoire, 12pm
  • Sunday, Oct 8: Tonga vs. Romania, Stade Pierre-Mauroy, 4.45pm – ITV 3
  • Sunday, Oct 8: Fiji vs. Portugal, Stade de Toulouse, 8pm – ITV 4

The schedule was packed with thrilling matchups, and rugby fans around the world eagerly awaited the unfolding drama on the pitch.

The Road to Glory

Beyond the pool matches, the tournament’s format included quarter-finals, semi-finals, and ultimately, the grand finale. The knockout stages promised high-stakes encounters, where only the best would advance to the next round.


  • Saturday, Oct 14: Winner Pool C vs. Runner-up Pool D, Stade de Marseille, 4pm
  • Saturday, Oct 14: Winner Pool B vs. Runner-up Pool A, Stade de France, 8pm
  • Sunday, Oct 15: Winner Pool D vs. Runner-up Pool C, Stade de Marseille, 4pm
  • Sunday, Oct 15: Winner Pool A vs. Runner-up Pool B, Stade de France, 8pm

The quarter-finals were the first hurdle on the path to potential glory, where the intensity reached new heights.


  • Friday, Oct 20: Winner QF 1 vs. Winner QF 2, Stade de France, 8pm
  • Saturday, Oct 21: Winner QF 3 vs. Winner QF 4, Stade de France, 8pm

The semi-finals marked a pivotal moment in the tournament, as the four remaining teams battled for a place in the final.


  • Friday, Oct 27: Runner-up SF 1 vs. Runner-up SF 2, Stade de France, 8pm

The bronze-medal match provided an opportunity for teams to salvage pride and secure a place on the podium.


  • Saturday, Oct 28: Winner SF 1 vs. Winner SF 2, Stade de France, 8pm

The grand finale, set in the iconic Stade de France, would determine the ultimate champion of the Rugby World Cup 2023.

As the tournament unfolded, rugby enthusiasts held their breath, awaiting the emergence of the next rugby powerhouse.

The Squad in the Spotlight

A crucial component of any team’s journey in the Rugby World Cup is the selection of the squad. In the case of England, their squad selection for the 2023 Rugby World Cup was a topic of great interest and discussion.

Challenges and Adjustments

The road to selecting the final 33-man squad was far from smooth. England’s preparations were marred by injuries and suspensions, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the team’s prospects. Here’s a glimpse into the challenges faced by the squad:

  • Owen Farrell’s Suspension: Owen Farrell, a key figure in England’s lineup, received a four-match suspension. This suspension ruled him out of the opening two World Cup games due to a high-tackle incident during a warm-up match against Wales.
  • Jack van Poortvliet’s Replacement: Jack van Poortvliet, initially included in the squad, was ruled out due to injury. He was replaced by Alex Mitchell, a change that introduced an element of adjustment to the squad.
  • Billy Vunipola’s Suspension: Billy Vunipola faced a suspension of three games for a similar high tackle, this time against Ireland. However, there was a unique twist to his situation. Vunipola had the option to attend “tackle school” to reduce his ban, which meant that he would miss only England’s opening match of the tournament.
  • Injury Sidelines Anthony Watson: Anthony Watson, another important player for England, found himself sidelined due to injury. His absence prompted the inclusion of Jonny May in the squad.
  • Kyle Sinckler’s Race Against Time: Kyle Sinckler faced a race against time to be fit for the tournament due to a pectoral injury. His recovery timeline added an element of suspense and hope for England’s supporters.
  • Tom Curry’s Swift Return: Tom Curry, a dynamic back-rower, was poised to be thrown straight into England’s starting XV to face Argentina. This decision was made more than three months after his last match, and it highlighted the urgency of the situation.

The squad selection process was undoubtedly challenging, and the team’s resilience and adaptability would be put to the test in France.

The Squad Composition

The final 33-player squad for England’s 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign featured a blend of experience and youthful talent, with players representing clubs from across the rugby spectrum. The squad was divided into forwards and backs, each player bringing their unique skills to the table.

Forwards (19):

  • Ollie Chessum (Leicester Tigers)
  • Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers)
  • Tom Curry (Sale Sharks)
  • Theo Dan (Saracens)
  • Ben Earl (Saracens)
  • Ellis Genge (Bristol Bears)
  • Jamie George (Saracens)
  • Maro Itoje (Saracens)
  • Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints)
  • Lewis Ludlam (Northampton Saints)
  • Joe Marler (Harlequins)
  • George Martin (Leicester Tigers)
  • David Ribbans (Toulon)
  • Bevan Rodd (Sale Sharks)
  • Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears)
  • Will Stuart (Bath Rugby)
  • Billy Vunipola (Saracens)
  • Jack Walker (Harlequins)
  • Jack Willis (Toulouse)

The forward pack was a formidable group, with a mix of seasoned campaigners and rising stars.

Backs (14):

  • Henry Arundell (Racing 92)
  • Danny Care (Harlequins)
  • Elliot Daly (Saracens)
  • Owen Farrell (Saracens)
  • George Ford (Sale Sharks)
  • Ollie Lawrence (Bath Rugby)
  • Max Malins (Bristol Bears)
  • Joe Marchant (Stade Francais)
  • Alex Mitchell (Northampton Saints) – replaced by Jack van Poortvliet
  • Marcus Smith (Harlequins)
  • Freddie Steward (Leicester Tigers)
  • Manu Tuilagi (Sale Sharks)
  • Jonny May (unattached) – replacement for Anthony Watson
  • Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers)

The backs were equally talented, with playmakers, finishers, and game-changers ready to make their mark on the world stage.

As the squad embarked on their Rugby World Cup journey, England’s fans were filled with a sense of anticipation and hope. The challenges were formidable, but the team’s spirit and determination remained unwavering.

The Odds and Expectations

As the Rugby World Cup 2023 progressed, bookmakers and pundits alike scrutinized the teams and their performances, offering odds and predictions that added to the excitement and drama of the tournament. England, despite their recent challenges, remained a team to watch, but they faced stiff competition from other rugby powerhouses.

Here are the latest odds for the Rugby World Cup 2023:

  • New Zealand: 5/2
  • France: 10/3
  • South Africa: 10/3
  • Ireland: 9/2
  • Australia: 14/1
  • England: 14/1
  • Argentina: 22/1
  • Wales: 33/1
  • Scotland: 33/1

These odds reflected the expectations and perceptions of each team’s chances of lifting the Webb Ellis Cup. While New Zealand, France, and South Africa were considered frontrunners, England’s journey was filled with unpredictability, making them a team that could potentially upset the odds.

As the Rugby World Cup 2023 unfolded on the hallowed fields of France, England’s quest for redemption and glory was a story that captivated fans and showcased the resilience and passion that define the sport of rugby. With each match, the team aimed to rewrite their narrative and etch their names into the annals of rugby history.

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