Rugby World Cup 2019 draws announced, England land in 'group of death'

These are: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, New Zealand, France, Italy, Argentina, Japan, South Africa, Australia and Georgia.

The Wallabies' other Pool D opponents during what shapes as a saloon passage through to the quarter-finals will be Georgia and two yet-to-be-determined qualifiers from Oceania and the Americas 2 division - probably Fiji and Canada.

"This is even more of a thrill than when I played Super Mario at the Rio Olympics", he said, referring to his closing-ceremony appearance dressed as the popular video game character.

Ireland have been drawn with Scotland and hosts Japan in a favourable draw for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. Our pool will be highly competitive and full of intensity, a World Cup group should be - history shows that you need to win seven games to win the tournament, and we will greatly respect every team we play. We will focus on our journey towards the RWC 2019 and make sure we are ready and well prepared.

The All Blacks could face England in the semi finals if both sides win their pools and quarter finals.

Aside form the cultural idiosyncrasies, the first World Cup to be staged outside a top tier rugby nation will also pose challenges in climate that will divide the tournament into two distinct sections requiring an adaptable game plan.

No team has ever lost in the pool stage and gone on to win the trophy outright.

The pooling was done on Wednesday in Japan where the Africa victor, hopefully Kenya Simbas, will play reigning champions New Zealand, South Africa and a repechage victor.

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Hosts Japan will meet Scotland and Ireland in Pool A, alongside a European qualifier and the victor of a play-off featuring teams from Oceania and Europe.

We are 28 months (!) away from the start of the tournament but, looking at the current lay of the land, Ireland would be aiming to top Pool A to avoid likely winners of Pool B New Zealand.

"The minute you stop thinking like that is the minute you get in the water.

It's not a tough group, it's a good group", said Jones, who has led England to 17 wins in 18 games and two straight Six Nations titles.

South Africa's slump to seventh in the world means the 1995 and 2007 champions face the All Blacks for the first time in the pool stage of a World Cup.

The Brave Blossoms stunned South Africa two years ago in England, however, and will certainly not view reaching the knockout stages on home soil as mission impossible.

The ninth Rugby World Cup, the first in Asia, takes place from September 20 to November 2, 2019.

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