Rugby World Cup 2021: England meet Fiji in opening day of postponed tournament

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the postponement of the Rugby World Cup from 2021 to 2022. Photo by Alex Davidson - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images

England will face Fiji on the opening day of the Rugby World Cup next year while defending champions and hosts New Zealand will face neighbours Australia at Auckland's Eden Park, the sport's global governing body said.

The tournament, to be held in Auckland and Whangarei from Oct. 8-Nov. 12 in 2022, was originally scheduled for this year but was postponed due to uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

South Africa will play France in the first of three games on the tournament's opening day, before two-time winners England face Fiji and New Zealand take on Australia.

The 44,000-capacity Eden Park will also host the semifinals, bronze playoff and the final.

New Zealand's "Black Ferns," who defeated England 41-32 in the final in Belfast in 2017, have won five of the eight previous editions of the tournament.