The Japanese are among a number of lower-ranked nations hoping to cause a stir on the big stage they did just that four years ago by beating South Africabut what about the main contenders for the crown? For England, anything other than winning the tournament is likely to be seen as a disaster. After failing to get out of the group stage on home soil four years ago under Stuart Lancaster, coach Eddie Jones has turned the Red Rose into a pragmatic and pugnacious side capable of going all the way. Now, pitted against both France and Argentina in Pool C, comes what could be their defining moment. What about Wales?
For those only with free-to-air capabilities, Channel Ten will be showing all of the Wallabies pool matches, plus the quarter-finals, semi-finals, third-place playoff and the decider. What time are the matches on?
If you are wondering whether games this year will be on at a good time in Australia, the short answer is a resounding yes. The Wallabies' opening match against Fiji kicks off at 2.
The quarter-finals are on at 6. Will there be some live sites in Sydney especially for the tournament? Australians are always pretty happy for any excuse to head to their local and the Rugby World Cup will be no exception.
A number of venues right across Sydney are showing live games and even installing special screens to give fans the best possible experience. The Manly Wharf Hotel will be installing televisions on its newly-renovated jetty and showing all games live, while other venues like York 75, the Steyne and Ivanhoe hotels in Manly, the Crows Nest Hotel and The Vic in Marrickville are all ready to kick-off this year's event.
Loading Who are the favourites? They may have lost the world No. It would also be their third on the trot.
Eddie Jones' England and Rugby Championship winners South Africa are considered the next most likely victor with bookmakers, ahead of Ireland and Wales. The Wallabies, in a reflection of their current ranking, are outright sixth and the only other team given a realistic chance of leaving with the Williams Webb Ellis Trophy.
France, Scotland and Argentina are considered outsiders, ahead of Japan, who are roughly with most agencies on home soil. Is there a group of death? Herald rugby afficianado Paul Cully has labelled Pool C this year's group of untimely demises in his tournament preview and it's easy to see why, with one of England, France or Argentina - Los Pumas made the last four in - certain to miss out on the quarter-finals.