Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

All Blacks draw Springboks in 2019 Rugby World Cup pool

Damon Campbell | 14 May, 2017, 04:04

At first glance it seems a tough draw for the Boks, but losing to the All Blacks in pool play would not necessarily dent their quarterfinal hopes.

The 2019 draw was conducted along similar lines to past tournaments, with the top-12 teams from 2015 qualifying automatically.

Eddie Jones will look to emulate James Bond by making England "bulletproof" at the right time in preparation for navigating the 2019 World Cup's most punishing group. "It's very hard and we will try to match our rivals and to get out of the pool".

"You've got to be good enough to win those games or you can't expect to win a World Cup", Jones said.

Ireland face Scotland and hosts Japan with Europe 1 and the final play-off victor in Pool A.

England were drawn in arguably the toughest pool for the second straight World Cup when they were grouped with France and Argentina in Pool C.

Former Wales wing Shane Williams installed Australia as favourites to top Pool D, but insisted Warren Gatland's side must be happy with their draw.

France nearly claimed a famous Twickenham win at the start of the Six Nations in February, only for a late try from Ben Te'o to hand England victory.

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SCOTLAND have been drawn against Ireland and host nation Japan in the pool stage of the Rugby World Cup. The United States and Canada are favourites to get the two Americas places, while Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are traditionally the strongest teams in Oceania.

The All Blacks on Wednesday discovered they will come up against the Springboks, Italy and two qualifiers at the showpiece event in Japan in two years' time.

"It's a great opportunity", said the New Zealander of the prospect of the Rugby World Cup being held in Japan.

"You've just got to deal with each game as it comes and that is the key to tournament play", he said from Japan.

Champions New Zealand drawn in Pool B with South Africa, Italy, Africa 1 and the victor of the Repechage. They are a team that knows us well and we know them very well.

Band Two - Scotland (5), France (6), South Africa (7), Wales (8).

The ninth Rugby World Cup takes place from September 20, 2019, with the final being played on November 2, 2019. The decision was made unanimously, and follows a long campaign led by World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot to reform the regulation.

Steve Hansen, whose All Blacks were barely tested in their pool at the 2015 tournament, said he was pleased to be in a group that would provide "some challenges".

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