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20 Sept - Japan vs Russia

It’s a truism that international tournaments are better when the hosts do well. Japan got off to a flying start by beating Russia 30 - 10. Here photographer Cameron Spencer (Getty Images) captures Kotaro Matsushima of Japan scoring his team’s second try. Cameron explains: “He had serious pace and I swapped to my 70-200mm f/2.8L for this frame thinking he would score in the corner.”

Rugby World Cup 2019: best photos from the group stages

When the Rugby World Cup 2019 kicked off three weeks ago, did anyone predict Japan vs Ireland? It has been the host’s tournament so far, with Japan’s 19-12 defeat of the number one team in the world the standout result.

There have been others. The heavyweight clash between South Africa and New Zealand was predictably fascinating. Wales’ gritty defeat of Australia was a blood and thunder contest for the ages.

And all of it has been captured on Canon, official sponsors of Japan 2019. Here’s our pictorial record of three weeks of brilliance, braun and breathtaking rugby…

The most defining moments in Rugby World Cup history have been taken on Canon. Discover Canon rugby kit recommendations which have everything you need to capture your own personal sporting stories and historic moments.