All Blacks to start World Cup defence against Springboks

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New Zealand will start their quest to win a third consecutive Rugby World Cup with a mouth-watering clash against South Africa in Yokohama.

The All Blacks beat the Springboks at the semi-final stage of the 2015 World Cup in England before going on to defeat Australia in the final.

Steve Hansen's men begin the defence of their title against their fellow-Pool B heavyweights at the International Stadium on September 21 in the 2019 tournament. 

Hosts Japan get the World Cup started a day earlier at Tokyo Stadium versus a European qualifier in Pool A.

England face Tonga at Sapporo Dome on September 22, a day after 2015 runners-up the Wallabies take on Fiji at the same venue.

Ireland against Scotland in Pool A in Yokohama is another standout fixture in the first round of matches.