Talk of 4 day turnarounds is sure to resurface as the schedule for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan has been announced today.
Scotland will face Ireland in the opening game on the 22nd September in Yokohama, both teams having dodged the bullet of the hosts in the opening game only to be faced with a knife-fight against each other that could in all reality determine their fortunes in the tournament right from the start.
With the winner of the pool scheduled to take on South Africa but the runner-up most likely to face New Zealand, points will be vital and starting slowly – something Scotland are worryingly good at – is not an option especially with Japan definitely in the mix for qualification on their home turf.
Scotland will then face Playoff 1 Winner (potentially Samoa) in Kobe on the 30th September and Europe 1 (most likely Romania but possibly Portugal or Germany) on October 9th in Shizuoka. Then after a 4-day turnaround they finish off with what may turn out to be a winner takes all game against the hosts on October 13th against Japan back in Yokohama. They are not the only ones, with Wales and England also facing similarly short gaps between games.
In one sense then things have been balanced so it’s not just Tier 2 and 3 teams getting shafted, but is 4 days really enough for anyone to recover from test match rugby?
Gregor Townsend and his team can start planning now.
— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) November 2, 2017