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How to Watch Rugby World Cup for Free in 2023

The 2023 Rugby World Cup can be enjoyed on many free-to-air TV channels, free live-streaming websites and even has radio coverage. If you want to know the full schedule, as well as learn how to watch the Rugby World Cup for free, keep reading.

Sandra PattisonSapphire Fox

Written by Sandra Pattison (Writer, Editor)

Reviewed by Sapphire Fox (Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-02-24T09:00:48+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

Key Takeaways: Rugby World Cup 2023 

  • The 2023 Rugby World Cup Opening Ceremony starts Friday, Sept. 8 and the final match finishes on Saturday, Oct. 28.
  • You can watch all the matches for free on ITVX in the U.K. and on in Denmark.
  • If you’re not in either of those countries, you can use a VPN to get access. We recommend using ExpressVPN, with NordVPN as a close second and Windscribe being the best free VPN for the job.

Rugby fans far and wide will be ready to watch their favorite team try to battle their way to the Rugby World Cup final. If you want to know how to watch the Rugby World Cup for free, this guide has everything you need. We’ve also included the full schedule with all 48 matches, so you can easily see when your team is playing. 

If you can’t access the service or channel you want because you’re not in the right region, you can use a VPN to unblock it. If you need a quick answer, ExpressVPN is our go-to VPN for any streaming requirements, including streaming live sports, and it has a 30-day refund period in case you don’t like it. 

  • 11/30/2023

    Updated the article to reflect ExpressVPN’s expansion of server presence from 94 to 105 countries.

How to Watch the Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup 2023 is available on different sports channels, services and free live-streaming websites around the world, but you’ll likely only be able to access the official broadcasters in your location due to geoblocks

If you want to access it on another service, can’t access the matches you want or want to access a free Rugby World Cup live stream, a virtual private network (VPN) can help you. Keep reading to find out how.

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Rugby League World Cup: What TV Channel Is It On?

There are lots of places you can watch Rugby World Cup matches, but not all channels or services will air all the games. The following table shows all the channels and services where you can watch it, including which country it’s available, if all matches will be shown and if it’s free.

CountryChannelFree?All Matches?Notes
🇺🇸 U.S.NBC Sports
NBC channel is available on live TV streaming services like Sling TV (Blue) and YouTube TV
🇦🇺 Australia9Now
Stan Sport
Fox Sports

All Australia matches and the finals
🇨🇦 CanadaTSN channel

TSN channel can be found on services like Crave, Shaw and Bell Fibre TV
🇫🇷 FranceFrance TV

10 matches inc. France vs Namibia
20 matches inc. all France matches (except France vs Namibia)
18 matches
🇳🇿 New ZealandSky Open Channel
Sky Sport NZ

12 matches (6 delayed)
🇩🇰 DenmarkProSieben MAXX

35 matches
🇮🇹 ItalyRAI
Sky Sport

All Italy matches and most important matches
🇪🇸 SpainMovistar Plus+N/A
🇮🇪 IrelandRTE
Virgin TV

25 matches inc. certain Ireland matches and the final
24 matches inc. certain Ireland matches and the final
🇿🇦 South AfricaSuperSportN/A
🇯🇵 JapanJ SportsFree trial with Prime

Can You Watch the Rugby World Cup for Free?

Yes, you can access the free streaming options mentioned above by using a free VPN or a VPN’s money-back guarantee and getting a refund at the end. We’ll provide suggestions later, as well as a step-by-step guide.

Free Streaming Services Covering the Rugby World Cup

As you can see from the table above, there are plenty of options for watching the Rugby World Cup for free. However, many of the free options only have selected games available. 

If you want to watch all of the games on one service or your local free service doesn’t have the games you want, you can use a VPN to access it elsewhere. For watching every Rugby World Cup match for free, your best bet is ITVX in the U.K. or in Denmark.

How to Stream the Rugby World Cup for Free With a VPN

The following how-to will show you how to watch Rugby World Cup live matches for free on ITVX in the U.K. ExpressVPN is the best ITVX VPN, so we’ve used that as our example. Just note that if you want a truly free experience with ExpressVPN, make sure to request a refund within 30 days.

If you want to watch the tournament on a different service but still need to use a VPN, swap the steps where necessary.

  1. Sign Up for ExpressVPN

    Go to ExpressVPN’s website and sign up for one of its plans. All plans are covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee.

    expressvpn get started
  2. Install ExpressVPN’s App

    Download and install the ExpressVPN App on the device you want to use it on. The ExpressVPN app is compatible with many device types, including streaming devices like Apple TV and certain smart TVs such as Android TV and Fire TV. After installation, launch the app and log into your account.

    expressvpn apps
  3. Connect to a U.K. Server

    Find and connect to a server in the United Kingdom. Click on the three dots to open the full server list. Then use the search bar or scroll through the list to find a U.K. server. Click on the server and, if needed, click on the big “on” button.

    expressvpn uk server
    ExpressVPN has fast speeds, plenty of servers and can access streaming services easily.
  4. Go to the ITVX Website

    Go to the ITVX website and click on the person icon in the top right corner. This will take you to the login page, but you can move on to register for a new ITVX account, as shown in the next steps.

    itvx website
  5. Register for a Free ITVX Account

    Click on “register now” to be taken to the registration page.

    itvx register
  6. Create Your Free ITVX Account

    Go through the steps and create your free ITVX account. It will ask you for your date of birth (to confirm your age), a valid email address for verification and a U.K. postcode (you can get a random one from Google).

    itvx create account
  7. Start Streaming the 2023 Rugby World Cup Live

    Search for the Rugby World Cup on ITVX and click on the match to start watching it.

    stream rugby world cup itvx

The Best VPNs for Watching the Rugby World Cup 

If you need a virtual private network to watch the Rugby World Cup live stream, you need to choose one with fast speeds and the ability to easily unblock your chosen streaming platform. All of our VPN recommendations below have what you need to watch Rugby World Cup 2023 games from anywhere.

1. ExpressVPN

expressvpn app uk
ExpressVPN has fast speeds, servers in 105 countries and can access any platform.


  • Fast streaming speeds
  • Unlocks all streaming apps
  • Servers in 105 countries


  • Expensive plans

ExpressVPN can unblock pretty much anything and with servers in 105 countries, you have a ton of different streaming options to choose from. ExpressVPN’s speeds are excellent too, meaning you won’t have to worry about buffering or poor resolution during the live stream.

ExpressVPN also has great online security and will help protect you even while streaming. It has apps available for almost all devices from mobile to smart TV, and if you want to watch the Rugby World Cup live on any smart devices that don’t support the app, such as Samsung smart TVs or LG smart TVs, you can use ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer feature, which allows you to unblock content without the full app.

The only downside is the price. ExpressVPN is expensive, but it’s totally worth it. You can read our ExpressVPN review for more on the service and take it for a spin using the 30-day money-back guarantee. 

2. NordVPN

nordvpn UK server
NordVPN has the fastest speeds, includes an ad-blocker
and has no trouble accessing streaming platforms.


  • Fastest available speeds
  • Servers in 60 countries
  • Affordable annual plans


  • Server map is fiddly on mobile

You can also use NordVPN to watch Rugby World Cup games. It has servers in 60 countries, giving you a little less choice than ExpressVPN, but still plenty, and it can easily bypass geoblocks. It also often has the fastest worldwide average VPN speeds (see our speed comparison). 

NordVPN’s apps are available for many device types and include an interactive map — just keep in mind that it’s a little hard to navigate on a smaller mobile screen. It also includes strong security features to keep you safe and an ad-blocker to stop those annoying pop-up ads during a live stream.

Unlike ExpressVPN, NordVPN has an affordable long-term plan. Yes, that does mean locking in for two years, but you can make sure you like the service first since you’ll be covered by a 30-day money-back guarantee. Read our NordVPN review for more information.

3. Windscribe

windscribe uk
Windscribe is the best free VPN for watching the Rugby World Cup.


  • Generous free plan
  • Free servers in 11 locations
  • Unlocks streaming apps


  • 15GB free data limit
  • 3-day money-back guarantee

Our last pick is Windscribe, which is a great option if you need a completely free VPN to stream the 2023 Rugby World Cup. It’s a premium VPN that offers a free plan, albeit with limits. One of those limits is the number of server locations available. Out of the 62 server locations Windscribe offers, free users get access to 11, and that includes the U.S., France and the U.K. for ITVX.

Windscribe can easily access ITVX, which means you have a totally free option for streaming the Rugby World Cup live. However, there is one caveat to this — you only get 15GB of data per month, so it won’t be enough if you want to watch every game of Rugby live.

If you need more data, you can always upgrade to the paid plan and there’s a cheap build-a-plan option that can cost as little as $3 per month (choose two server locations and unlimited data). Aside from that, Windscribe’s speeds are fast, it’s secure and the app is easy to use. Read our Windscribe review for more. 

  • Up to 15 GB free with email confirmation and Tweet
  • 15GB
  • Unlimited

The Rugby League World Cup: Who, Where & When

The host nation for the 2023 Rugby World Cup is France. It’s the first Rugby World Cup to take place entirely in France and the matches will be held in nine stadiums across the country. Here are the nine venues the games will be held at:

  • Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux
  • Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille
  • OL Stadium, Lyon
  • Stade de Marseille, Marseille
  • Stade de La Beaujoire, Nantes
  • Stade de Nice, Nice
  • Stade de France, Saint-Denis
  • Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne
  • Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse

The qualifying rugby nations taking part in the World Cup have been grouped into four “pools” containing five teams each. After the pool stage, the top two countries will move on to the quarterfinals. We’ve provided a complete schedule further down.

Pool 🇦New Zealand, France, Italy, Namibia & Uruguay
Pool 🇧Ireland, South Africa, Scotland, Tonga & Romania
Pool 🇨Wales, Australia, Georgia, Fiji & Portugal
Pool 🇩England, Japan, Argentina, Samoa & Chile

When Is the Rugby World Cup?

The 2023 Rugby World Cup starts Friday, Sept. 8 and runs until Saturday, Oct. 28. The opening match is between hosts France and New Zealand, and we expect there to be some exciting matches ahead as the best international teams compete for the Webb Ellis Cup.

Rugby World Cup 2023 Schedule

Here is the complete 2023 Rugby World Cup schedule. We’ll update the teams once we know who will play against each other. Times are in ET, so be sure to convert it if you’re elsewhere.

Pool Stage

📅 Date🏉Match🕛Time (ET)🏟️Location
Sept. 8France 🆚 New Zealand3:15 p.m.Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Sept. 9Italy 🆚 Namibia7:00 a.m.Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne
Ireland 🆚 Romania9:30 a.m.Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux
Australia 🆚 Georgia12:00 p.m.Stade de France, Saint Denis
England 🆚 Argentina3:00 p.m.Stade de Marseille, Marseille
Sept. 10Japan 🆚 Chile7:00 a.m.Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse
South Africa 🆚 Scotland11:30 a.m.Stade de Marseille, Marseille
Wales 🆚 Fiji3:00 p.m.Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux
Sept. 14France 🆚 Uruguay3:00 p.m.Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille
Sept. 15New Zealand 🆚 Namibia3:00 p.m.Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse
Sept. 16Samoa 🆚 Chile9:00 a.m.Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux
Wales 🆚 Portugal11:30 a.m.Stade de Nice, Nice
Ireland 🆚 Tonga3:00 p.m.Stade de La Beaujoire, Nantes
Sept. 17South Africa 🆚 Romania9:00 a.m.Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux
Australia 🆚 Fiji11:30 a.m.Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne
England 🆚 Japan3:00 p.m.Stade de Nice, Nice
Sept. 20Italy 🆚 Uruguay11:45 a.m.Stade de Nice, Nice
Sept. 21France 🆚 Namibia3:00 p.m.Stade de Marseille, Marseille
Sept. 22Argentina 🆚 Samoa11:45 a.m.Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne
Sept. 23Georgia 🆚 Portugal8:00 a.m.Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse
England 🆚 Chile11:30 a.m.Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille
South Africa 🆚 Ireland3:00 p.m.Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Sept. 24Scotland 🆚 Tonga11:30 a.m.Stade de Nice, Nice
Wales 🆚 Australia3:00 p.m.OL Stadium, Lyon
Sept. 27Uruguay 🆚 Namibia11:45 a.m.OL Stadium, Lyon
Sept. 28Japan 🆚 Samoa3:00 p.m.Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse
Sept. 29New Zealand 🆚 Italy3:00 p.m.OL Stadium, Lyon
Sept. 30Argentina 🆚 Chile9:00 a.m.Stade de La Beaujoire, Nantes
Fiji 🆚 Georgia11:30 a.m.Stade de Bordeaux, Bordeaux
Scotland 🆚 Romania3:00 p.m.Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille
Oct. 1Australia 🆚 Portugal11:30 a.m.Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Etienne
South Africa 🆚 Tonga3:00 p.m.Stade de Marseille, Marseille
Oct. 5New Zealand 🆚 Urugua3:00 p.m.OL Stadium, Lyon
Oct. 6France 🆚 Italy3:00 p.m.OL Stadium, Lyon
Oct. 7Wales 🆚 Georgia9:00 a.m.Stade de La Beaujoire, Nantes
England 🆚 Samoa11:30 a.m.Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille
Ireland 🆚 Scotland3:00 p.m.Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Oct. 8Japan 🆚 Argentina7:00 a.m.Stade de La Beaujoire, Nantes
Tonga 🆚 Romania11:30 a.m.Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille
Fiji 🆚 Portugal3:00 p.m.Stadium de Toulouse, Toulouse


📅 Date🏉Match🕛Time 🏟️Location
Oct. 14Winner Pool C 🆚 Runner-Up Pool D11:00 a.m.Stade de Marseille, Marseille
Winner Pool B 🆚 Runner-Up Pool A3:00 p.m.Stade de France, Saint Denis
Oct. 15Winner Pool D 🆚 Runner-Up Pool C11:00 a.m.Stade de Marseille, Marseille
Winner Pool A 🆚 Runner-Up Pool B3:00 p.m.Stade de France, Saint Denis


📅 Date🏉Match🕛Time 🏟️Location
Oct. 20Winner QF 1 🆚 Winner QF 23:00 p.m.Stade de France, Saint Denis
Oct. 21Winner QF 3 🆚 Winner QF 43:00 p.m.Stade de France, Saint Denis

Third Place Match

📅 Date🏉Match🕛Time 🏟️Location
Oct. 27Runner-Up SF 1 🆚 Runner-Up SF 23:00 p.m.Stade de France, Saint Denis

2023 Rugby World Cup Final

📅 Date🏉Match🕛Time 🏟️Location
Oct. 28Winner SF 1 🆚 Winner SF 23:00 p.m.Stade de France, Saint Denis

Final Thoughts: Rugby League World Cup

That’s it, rugby fans, you have everything you need to know about how to watch Rugby World Cup games. The RWC 2023 opening match is on Sept. 8 and the tournament finishes Oct. 28, and you can watch all the Rugby World Cup action for free on ITVX in the U.K. or in Denmark.

If you’re not in any of those countries or want to watch it on a specific network that’s not available in your location, you can use a VPN to get access. ExpressVPN is the best choice and its 30-day money-back guarantee means you can use it risk-free.

Which streaming service or TV channel will you use to watch Rugby World Cup 2023 games? Will you need to use a VPN to watch it? If so, which VPN will you use? Let us know in the comment section and, as always, thank you for reading.

FAQ: Rugby World Cup 2023 

  • NBC is the official broadcaster for the Rugby World Cup coverage in the U.S. Matches will air on the NBC Sports channel and NBC’s streaming service, Peacock.

  • The NBC Sports channel and Peacock have the France vs New Zealand 2023 Rugby World Cup match.

  • The Rugby World Cup 2023 starts Friday, Sept. 8 at 2 p.m. ET with a special Opening Ceremony at the Stade de France.

  • The 2023 Rugby World Cup is being hosted by France and will be the first time it is hosted entirely by the country.

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