New Zealand and Tonga opened up proceedings in Pool A on Friday - in what was also the 2011 Rugby World Cup opener - and, on Saturday, it will be the turn of France and Japan to keep their pool ticking over.
Japan are seeking to improve their World Cup record of just one win in six appearances, but they are facing a tough pool - including, of course, the likes of New Zealand, Tonga and Canada.
The Cherry Blossoms' recent form has been impressive, however.
They claimed their fourth straight Asian Five Nations title in May and lifted a maiden Pacific Nations Cup in July (which saw them beat Fiji); wrapping up their RWC preparations with a 20-14 win over the USA in August.
That said, Japan coach John Kirwan - a 1987 World Cup winner with the All Blacks - remained realistic when discussing his team's goals this week.
"We talked about winning two games and that's one of the important goals for us. I think the most important thing for us is to be the most improved side in the World Cup," Kirwan said.
"To do that we need to be very competitive on Saturday night and next Friday night (against New Zealand) and play incredibly well to get two wins.
"For us it's the start of the tournament and we really want to show the world how much the Japanese team has improved."
Kirwan added: "What you'll see on Saturday is an incredibly committed group of players that know how to play the game. We've chosen a style that suits us and we're hoping that that style you'll see very quickly.
"We call it 'Japanese style'. I think if you talk about French rugby, when they play their best you call it 'champagne rugby'. I'm hoping that on Saturday night after the game you'll understand what Japanese rugby is.
"For us it's about playing the game expansively and showing courage and commitment in all facets of play."
France, meanwhile, have more to lose than Japan in this fixture.
As two-times (losing) Rugby World finalists, and with an impressive World Cup record (their worst finish came in 1991 - as losing quarterfinalists), they are ranked fourth in the world.
At the same time, the tournament - win or lose - will bring to an end the four-year reign of coach Marc Lievremont, but the former World Cup flanker sees that as more of a positive than a negative.
"This is a real chance for the French team. For the first time in my four years in charge we had the resources and the time to get to know each other and work on fitness and on our rugby," Lievremont said.
"I am happy with that but it is what follows that will determine whether it was all worth it. Now, it is all systems go."
Team-wise, Lievremont has named prop Fabien Barcella and veteran centre Aurelien Rougerie in the starting XV, despite both having just returned to action following months out through injury, whilst starting hooker William Servat has not played a match since June 4.
It is clear, however, that the French boss is looking for his experienced men to lead the way against the nippy Cherry Blossoms from Japan.
"This is the best team for the moment," he said earlier this week.
"Without doubt things will evolve and that there will be an opportunity to see all the players in the first two matches (the second one against Canada on September 18)."
Players to Watch:
For France: It would be worth keeping an eye on the centre-pairing of veteran Aurelien Rougerie and rugby league convert Fabrice Estebanez. Will Rougerie be sharp enough after his injury lay-off? Will Estebanez hit his straps on his Rugby World Cup debut? Powerful loose forward Imanol Harinordoquy is hard to miss and so, too, his back row colleague and France's captain, Thierry Dusautoir.
For Japan: Flyhalf James Arlidge will return to one of his old stomping grounds, having played NPC rugby for Auckland and Northland and Super Rugby for the Blues. A smooth-running flyhalf, with plenty of skill, his experience of local conditions - coupled with those of coach John Kirwan - will be a major plus for the Cherry Blossoms. The 32-year-old - who was born in Hamilton, the venue of Japan's next clash, against the All Blacks - has scored 252 points in 29 appearances for Japan.
Head to head: We have already mentioned Fabrice Estebanez as a Player to Watch for France, but it will be interesting to see how he fares against the vastly-experienced Ryan Nicholas - another Kiwi in the Japanese line-up. Nicholas, who played for Otago alongside flyhalf Arlidge, is an organised inside centre - or second five-eighth - with a nose for the tryline; his abilities on attack will test Estebanez who is also something of a 'second five-eighth' selection by coach Kirwan.
2003: France won 51-29, Townsville
1973: France won 30-18, Bordeaux
Prediction: There only one winner here... and it will be France. And the margin? Hmmm... They should win by at least 35 points.
France: 15 Cedric Heymans, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Aurelien Rougerie, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Maxime Médard, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Raphael Lakafia, 7 Imanol Harinordoquy, 6 Thierry Dusautoir (captain), 5 Lionel Nallet, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Nicolas Mas, 2 William Servat, 1 Fabien Barcella.
Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski, 17 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 18 Julien Bonnaire, 19 Pascal Papé, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 David Skrela, 22 David Marty.
Japan: 15 Shaun Webb, 14 Kosuke Endo, 13 Koji Taira, 12 Ryan Nicholas, 11 Hirotoki Onozawa, 10 James Arlidge, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Ryukoliniasi Holani, 7 Michael Leitch, 6 Takashi Kikutani (captain), 5 Toshizumi Kitagawa, 4 Luke Thompson, 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2 Shota Horie, 1 Hisateru Hirashima.
Replacements: 16 Yusuke Aoki, 17 Nozomu Fujita, 18 Hitoshi Ono, 19 Itaru Taniguchi, 20 Atsushi Hiwasa, 21 Murray Williams, 22 Alisi Tupuailai.
Date: Saturday, September 10
Venue: North Harbour Stadium, North Shore (Auckland)
Kick-off: 18.00 (06.00 GMT)
Expected weather: Fine, evening cloud. Freshening northeasterlies. High of 17°C and a low of 11°C
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Alain Rolland (Ireland)), Stuart Terheege (England)
TMO: Giulio De Santis (Italy)
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