As endless words finally turn to actions in Japan, there's still time to consider what may come to pass over the next six weeks.
- RWC Power Rankings: All Blacks start as team to beat
- Rugby World Cup sweepstake kit
- Rugby World Cup 2019 schedule - New Zealand dates, times
Our Newshub brains trust will be watching from near - on the ground at the tournament - and far - huddled around the TV at our Auckland newsroom - but have stuck their necks out with some fearless predictions.
Buckle up now, the fun is about to begin...
The Nehe Milner Skudder Award for international breakthrough player
Andrew Gourdie, Newshub sports presenter: Richie Mo'unga (NZ)
John Day, Newshub sports reporter: Romain Ntamack (France)
Luke Robinson, Newshub online sports reporter: Sevu Reece (NZ)
Kristina Eddy, Newshub sports reporter: Reece
Ollie Ritchie, The Cup 19 podcast host: George Bridge (NZ)
Ross Karl, Newshub rugby editor: Joe Cokanasiga (England)
Flop of the tournament (player)
OR: Beauden Barrett (NZ)
AG: Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
LR: Dan Biggar (Wales)
KE: David Pocock (Australia)
Flop of the tournament (team)
RK: France. I think Argentina will beat them and they won't get out of pool play.
Player of the tournament
LR: Handre Pollard (South Africa)
RK: Ardie Savea (NZ)
KE: Sevu Reece (NZ)
OR: Siya Kolisi (South Africa)
AG: Beauden Barrett (NZ)
Most likely upset
JD: Fiji to beat Australia
LR: Scotland beats Ireland
RK: Japan could beat Scotland - that would get the host country fired up.
KE: United States to beat England
OR: Japan to beat Scotland
AG: Nothing outrageous, but I'm picking Argentina to beat France and England to top Pool C.
AG: New Zealand, South Africa, England & Argentina
JD: New Zealand, South Africa, England & Wales
LR: New Zealand, South Africa, England & Australia
RK: New Zealand v England, South Africa v Australia
KE: New Zealand, South Africa, England & Wales
OR: New Zealand v England, South Africa v Wales
OR: South Africa
AG: New Zealand
JD: New Zealand
LR: South Africa
RK: New Zealand - I'm not 100 percent sure on this, but the All Blacks have players and coaches who know how to win. They also are favourites for every game they play, so based on that, I'll tenatively pick them over South Africa or England.
KE: New Zealand
Join us for live updates of Rugby World Cup 2019 from September 20