Rugby World Cup opening ceremony (Getty)
2019/10/14 11:14:31
11:55:19AM

And that's that! 

The 2019 Rugby World Cup is officially declared OPEN!

Good luck to all the teams, especially the Springboks! 

Up next we have the opening fixture, Japan v Russia, at 12:45 (SA time).  

11:51:18AM
Beaumont: "The waiting is over, the stage is set and it is now over to the teams, the fans and the people of Japan to make this the best Rugby World Cup ever."
11:49:19AM
Beaumont: "Over the next 6 weeks unforgettable moments will be shared on and off the field as excitement sweeps this great nation."
11:48:38AM
Beaumont: "This is the moment we have all been waiting for ... the first World Cup in Asia"
11:47:26AM
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont now addressing the world ... 
11:46:45AM

Former All Black captain Richie McCaw now enters the fray holding the Webb Ellis Cup he won in 2015. 

He returns the iconic, golden trophy and it is up for grabs once more!

11:43:42AM
The children are now singing the Rugby World Cup anthem, 'World in Union' #feels
11:42:44AM
South Africa gets a massive roar from the Tokyo crowd when they are announced! 
11:41:25AM
Children now wearing the colours of the 20 participating sides now on the field as each country is announced ...
11:35:02AM
Dancers and drummers now performing as the names of all of the host cities are being displayed on a huge mat covering the Tokyo Stadium turf ... 
11:33:47AM
We're underway ...
11:28:21AM

In the meantime, sign up for our chief writer Rob Houwing's rugby World Cup newsletter, 'Rucking with Rob Houwing'. 

He'll be providing analysis, tips and insight throughout the tournament. 

11:25:05AM

From what we've been told, the opening ceremony is set to be quite spectacular! 

That gets underway in just a few minutes ... 

11:08:41AM

The opening ceremony is set to get underway at 11:30 (SA time). 

The first match of the tournament will see hosts Japan take on Russia at 12:45 (SA time). 

11:05:02AM
The waiting is finally over! Welcome to our live coverage of the 2019 Rugby World Cup opening ceremony from Tokyo Stadium in Japan.