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.
Rassie Erasmus’s side go into the final as the tournament’s current top scorers – with 230 points to their opponents’ 178, including a competition-high 31 tries – though they have played an extra game after England’s final pool stage tie against France was called off.
There will be personal honours on offer, too, with England’s Owen Farrell (46) and Handre Pollard of South Africa (47) both in reach of Japan kicker Yu Tamura’s 51 points scored so far in the tournament, while Makazole Mapimpi (5) is currently one try behind Wales’s Josh Adams before the two feature in the final and bronze final respectively.
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.
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.
Watch the Rugby World Cup final from abroad using a VPN
Trying to access ITV streams from outside the UK – if you’re on holiday or working abroad, for example – is still a problem. The service will know your location based on your IP address, and will automatically block your access – even if you’re a UK national. This will be the same if you try to access any geo-blocked stream from around the world.
So, you’ll need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to help you get around this obstacle. A VPN creates a private connection between your device and the internet, such that the servers and services you’re accessing aren’t aware of what you’re doing. All the information passing back and forth is entirely encrypted.
VPNs are as useful for banking as they are at trying to watch video content or access websites that people in your location are not supposed to do. So, whether you want to watch live rugby, enjoy another country’s Netflix library or just keep your browsing data private, then they’re well worth considering.
There are many VPN providers out there, with some more reliable and safe than others. As a rule, we’d suggest a paid-for service and would recommend the following:
You can get three months free when you sign up to a year-long plan, bringing VPN access to smart devices including the Amazon Fire TV Stick, laptops, TVs and both Android and iOS mobiles and tablets. Express also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Which comes in at as little as $2.99 (£2.29) per month and features 24/7 assistance
Once you’ve made your choice, all you need to do is sign in to your VPN service through whichever device you’d like to use to watch the match. When prompted to select a server, you need to pick one which is based in the country whose content you’d like to access. Then navigate to the relevant video streaming app or website and you’re in.
You can find a full list of the world’s broadcasters with rights to show live Rugby World Cup matches here.
Watch the Rugby World Cup final in the USA
Exclusive rights to show the Rugby World Cup in the USA belong to NBC Sports Gold, which offered a pass to stream all 48 live matches across the tournament, commercial-free, for $199.99. A single match pass otherwise costs $29.99, which makes more sense now there’s only the final and bronze final to go.
NBC also offers an all-access premium pass for $79.99, which doesn’t include the World Cup but unlocks a whole season’s worth of action outside this tournament, including the Six Nations and Rugby League Premiership.
You can choose your NBC Sports Gold Rugby World Cup pass here.
If you’re going to be out of the country over the next couple of weeks, you can still use your pass with a VPN. See our above section to find out how to access geo-blocked streams.
Knockout stage fixtures
All times shown are GMT.
New Zealand vs Wales, 9.00am – Friday 1st
England vs South Africa, 9.00am – Saturday 2nd