Swing lo, sweet chariot...
Usually, when it comes to major sporting events, there's no problem finding a pub or a bar screening pretty much any game. However, the 2019 Rugby World Cup is in Japan. Those of you young enough to remember the 2002 Fifa World Cup will know that means early morning matches. Japan is eight hours ahead of London, and some games kick off at 5.45am GMT.
Therefore it's a little bit tougher to find places open early enough to show the games. Luckily for you, we've managed to seek out those rare early birds determined to catch the worm.
Flat Iron Square, Southwark
Flat Iron Square is going all in for the Rugby World Cup, giving itself a makeover in honour of the host nation: Japan. That means Japanese food, drinks and merch is on offer. To the undoubted delight of anime fans, they've even named the exclusive upstairs private hire venue Akira. Every single World Cup game will be screened here, no matter the hour. Considering this is an open air option, we recommend bringing some thick jumpers and blankets for those attending any dawn kick offs.
Flat Iron Square, 64 Southwark Street, SE1 1RU
The Chelsea Courtyard
With such early starts you're going to need some caffeine to help you get through these games. West Londoners, you're in luck — if you order food at The Chelsea Courtyard during a match, there's unlimited tea and coffee on offer. The bright and airy drinking hub is screening all the home nation matches on a large screen.
The Chelsea Courtyard, 151 Sydney Street, SW3 6NT
The Clubhouse Bar, Twickenham Stadium
Head into the national home of rugby to watch the England vs France game on Saturday 12 October. This clash between the two rugby heavyweights is likely to be the most exciting game in the pool. It's also the last one in this stage, so there's likely to be plenty at stake. Tickets cost £20, and that includes a cocktail or mocktail on arrival.
The Clubhouse Bar, Twickenham Stadium, Whitton Road, TW2 7BA
The Old Ship, Hackney
The Old Ship in Hackney is offering a free round of beers on the house for anyone who pre-books to see a game they're screening... as long as they're eating. The pint must either be a Heineken or a Heineken 0.0% (that latter option might be smart, considering the time of day). The pub screens all the England matches, most other home nation games, and everything after the pool stage (check out the full list here).
The Old Ship, 2 Sylvester Path, E8 1EN
View this post on Instagram
There are five Belushi's dotted around London, and they're all pretty on it when it comes to screening sports. The Rugby World Cup in Japan is no different, and Belushi's are prepared. They've got a special 5am-10.45am menu on offer for the hardcore. The key to Belushi's is booking ahead, nab yourself a table, booth, stadium seating... or — if you're feeling especially luxurious — drop a whole £750 in the London Bridge branch and watch the match in a 'Man Cave' for you and your mates.
Belushi's, multiple venues.
The Mason's Arms
Here's another pub that's offering freebies in the hope that will get people through the door even at an unsociable hour. At The Mason's Arms it's either a coffee or a pint of Guinness to get you through the game. The pub's showing the majority of matches, but doesn't seem to have the stomach for the 5.45 starts. Weak. They'd never make it at scrum-half.
The Mason's Arms, 169 Battersea Park Road, SW8 4BT
Goose Island Brew Pub
Breakfast pizzas and Bloody Marys are the lure at Goose Island's Brew Pub in Shoreditch, which screens all of the games. With a menu like that, it sounds like they're expecting plenty of hard-core hungover punters. Although we're sure you'll still be welcome if you've got a bit of life in you at 10am on a Saturday.
Goose Island Brew Pub, 222 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6PJ
The Faltering Fullback
View this post on Instagram
Possibly London's most legendary rugby pub. Just look at the name. Chances are this will be the best place to support the lads in green, but they'll still screen plenty of other games. Usually when it comes to rugby and the Fullback we'd say get there early to make sure you get a seat, but you'll be getting there early no matter what for this tournament.
The Faltering Fullback, 19 Perth Road, N4 3HB
Watching rugby in a pub at 9am could be a bit depressing... But watching rugby in a hidden speakeasy at 9am? You sir, are living your best life. Especially if you dig into their Irish brunch menu (why hello, buttermilk waffles) while watching. Of the pool stages, only the home nation games are being screened here — and select ones at that — so check before you go. Once things kick into gear with the quarters, the bar will be showing every match.
Homeboy, 108 Essex Road, N1 8LX
Know anywhere else screening matches? Comment below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.