The Rugby World Cup kicks off on Friday night as hosts Japan square off against Russia. Cameron McMillan runs over the draw for the 40 pool matches to work out which games are worth watching.

'Must watch'

Australia v Fiji

, 4.45pm, Saturday September 21

France v Argentina


, 7.15pm Saturday September 21

New Zealand v South Africa

, 9.45pm, Saturday September 21

Ireland v Scotland

, 7.45pm, Sunday September 22

Australia v Wales

, 8.45pm, Sunday September 29

Scotland v Samoa


, 11.15pm, Monday September 30

England v Argentina,

9pm, Saturday October 5

Wales v Fiji

, 11.45pm, Wednesday October 9

England v France

, 9.15pm, Saturday October 12

Ireland v Samoa

, 11.45pm Saturday October 12

'It's the All Blacks!'

Every New Zealand fan is going to watch every All Blacks game, it's the law, but it just would have seemed wrong to call All Blacks v Namibia a 'must watch'. It's more of a 'Please Beauden Barrett don't get hurt' kind of watch.

New Zealand v Canada, 11.15pm, Wednesday October 2
New Zealand v Namibia, 5.45pm, Sunday October 6
New Zealand v Italy, 5.45pm, Saturday October 12

Friendly kickoff time makes it a cursory glance

A Sunday afternoon and there's a live game from the Rugby World Cup, it's 1987 all over again. Maybe TVNZ will bring back Sunday Grandstand.

Italy v Namibia, 5.15pm, Sunday September 22
Fiji v Uruguay, 5.15pm, Wednesday September 25
Argentina v Tonga, 4.45pm, Saturday September 28
Japan v Ireland, 7.15pm Saturday September 28
France v USA, 8.45pm, Wednesday October 2
Georgia v Fiji, 6.15pm, Thursday October 3
Australia v Uruguay, 6.15pm, Sat October 5
France v Tonga, 8.45pm Sunday October 6
Argentina v Russia, 5.45pm, Wednesday October 9
Scotland v Russia, 8.15pm, Wednesday October 9

'Gee look at the time'

The downside of Japan hosting the World Cup is that there will be some late kickoff times for New Zealand viewers, with a few matches ending around 2am...on a Monday morning. Save those late nights for the knockout games.

Japan v Russia, 10.45pm, Friday September 20
England v Tonga, 10.15pm, Sunday September 22
Wales v Georgia, 10.15pm, Monday September 23
England v USA, 10.45pm Thursday September 26
Ireland v Russia, 11.15pm, Thursday October 3
South Africa v Italy, 10.45pm, Friday October 4
Japan v Samoa, 11.30pm, Saturday October 5
South Africa v Canada, 11.15pm, Tuesday October 8
Australia v Georgia, 11.15pm, Friday October 11
Japan v Scotland, 11.45pm, Sunday October 13

I'm not that into rugby

It's Georgia v Uruguay - Gorgadze v Gaminara! I think I'll skip that one. And a few others. Tip - If you've got work around the house needed to be done, chalk up October 13 on the calendar before the start of the knockout games.

Russia v Samoa, 10.15pm, Tuesday September 24
Italy v Canada, 7.45pm Thursday September 26
South Africa v Namibia, 9.45pm, Saturday September 28
Georgia v Uruguay, 6.15pm, Sunday September 29
Namibia v Canada, 4.15pm Sunday October 13
USA v Tonga, 6.45pm, Sunday October 13
Wales v Uruguay, 9.15pm, Sunday October 13