Rugby World Cup 2019: The best spots for Kiwis to watch the opening weekend of action

It only felt like yesterday Beauden Barrett was crossing the tryline to secure the All Blacks back to back Rugby World Cup titles in 2015.

Four years later, they have the chance to make it a three-peat - and it all starts in Japan this weekend.

It's set to be a mammoth weekend of rugby. The tournament kicks off on Friday night - with the hosts taking on Russia at 10:45pm (NZ time).

But it's Saturday that's sure to leave rugby lovers with their mouths watering, with all Sanzaar teams getting their campaigns underway - Australia taking on Fiji at 4:45pm; France v Argentina at 7:15pm; and what's sure to be the match of the weekend - the All Blacks take on South Africa at 9:45pm (all NZT).

Rugby World Cup 2019: The best spots for Kiwis to watch the opening weekend of action

And it doesn't stop there. Sunday sees Italy take on Namibia, while UK rivals Scotland and Ireland go head to head, and Eddie Jones' England play the Kingdom of Tonga.

Sadly, not all of us can be in Japan to soak up the atmosphere, but the good news is there's plenty of places throughout New Zealand where you can cheer on your team.

Auckland

"This iconic Auckland sports bar is the perfect place to take in all the excitement of the World Cup," Heart of the City says.

For more Auckland bars click here.

Hamilton

Wellington

  • St Johns Bar & Restaurant  - all major games live and loud, with the chance to also win flights, accommodation, dinner, and tickets for two to a Super Rugby game in Melbourne.

"[I] have been wondering where I should plan my eventual divorce from watching too many games," the user wrote.

Christchurch

  • The Bog Irish Bar is self-proclaimed as "the real home to Irish rugby" and claims to be the best place in the Garden City to watch the Rugby World Cup.
  • One of this writer's personal favourites; Dux Central is urging people to get kitted up in black to watch Saturday's test against the Springboks on their big screen. They're doing $12 pints, $30 pitchers and the food is outstanding - nachos and fried chicken recommended.
  • The Rockpool has 15 screens up and beer fully stocked for the big occasion. They'll also have food and drink specials, and of course, pool tables if you want to jam between the rugby.

Dunedin

  • Lone Star - an old New Zealand favourite. All games will be streamed live.
  • Stuart St Mac's BrewBar says it's fizzed up, and has all the games live on their big screens. There will be deals and prizes for every game.

Staying at home? Newshub has you covered

If you haven't already, you'll want to get the Spark Sport app and purchase a Rugby World Cup Tournament Pass.

Fans can watch the World Cup via Google Chromecast - a device that plugs into the HDMI port on your TV.

Newshub's snack recommendations for those staying in: 

  • Chips and dip - because what Kiwi doesn't love onion dip, right?
  • Sausage rolls are another Kiwi favourite.
  • Party pies (more commonly known as savouries) - just don't be the guest who eats them all in one go.
  • Hot chips - cook them yourself or grab a couple of scoops from your local chippy.

Enjoy the rugby, New Zealand.

Newshub. 

Join us at 9:45pm Saturday for live updates of the All Blacks v South Africa World Cup clash.

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