Rugby World Cup final Live: The eyes of the world will be on Yokohama, Japan come Saturday morning as England go head-to-head with South Africa in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final.
It’s a repeat of the 2007 showpiece, where the Springboks beat the then reigning world champions 15-6, with five penalties scored to their opposition’s two. A reverse of that fixture would see England win their second world title, while South Africa are aiming for their third.
Eddie Jones’s England go into the biggest fixture of their careers as bookies’ favourites, having beaten New Zealand – champions of the past two tournaments and until last weekend unbeaten in 18 World Cup matches stretching back to 2007 – by 19 points to 7. South Africa, meanwhile, were defeated 23-13 by the same opposition in their first game of the pool stage.
Jones has also been able to name the same side that beat the All Blacks last time out, with captain Owen Farrell, leading try-scorer Jonny May and prop Kyle Sinckler all past fit despite picking up knocks in the semi-final. Tom Curry, one of six nominees for World Player of the Year, also starts again.
Rassie Erasmus’s side go into the final as the tournament’s second top scorers and second top try scorers – with 230 points and 31 tries, lagging just behind New Zealand’s totals of 245 and 34 respectively – though they have played one more game than England, whose final pool stage tie against France was called off.
Erasmus has been given a boost by the return of winger Cheslin Kolbe, who has recovered from an ankle injury in time for the final, and is also otherwise able to name the same starting XV that beat Wales in the last four. Kolbe is one of two World Player of the Year nominees starting the final for South Africa, with Pieter-Steph du Toit also among the starters.
There will be personal honours on offer, too, with England’s Farrell (46) and Handre Pollard of South Africa (47) both within reach of All Black Richie Mo’unga’s 52 points scored so far in the tournament, while Springbok Makazole Mapimpi (5) is currently two tries behind Wales’s Josh Adams after the latter went over again in the bronze final.
There were no tries scored when these two nations met in the 2007 final, and this may well start off as a cagey affair, but the sport’s greatest spoils will likely go to whichever side is prepared to take the game by the scruff of the neck and drag it over the try line.
“We know South Africa are going to come at us, and we’re going to come at them even harder,” says Jones. “We’re ready to go. Hang on to your seats, because it’s the last dip of the rollercoaster.”
If you’re anything like us, you won’t want to miss any of the action, so we’ve put together a guide for how you can watch the final live on TV, online and on the go, wherever you are in the world.
Watch the Rugby World Cup final in the UK
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 the early morning start.
As well as showing all the matches live, it also has a late-night highlights show for those of us who will be at work, asleep or otherwise engaged on Saturday morning.
ITV has no 4K facility, but 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 when the final is taking place.