dglobalnews.com RWC draw throws up thrills and spills as England face tough ask
Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Sports | By Jeannette Edwards

RWC draw throws up thrills and spills as England face tough ask

The outcome of the draw at the Kyoto State Guest House replicates the last World Cup when they were paired in the "pool of death" with Australia and Wales, resulting in the hosts' demise at the earliest possible stage.

With two teams going through to the quarter-finals, qualification from Pool A should be a fight between those three. The other two members of the pool have yet to be decided, but one will be a European team such as Romania or Germany, and the other will be the victor of a play-off between the third team in the Pacific Nations Cup (possibly Tonga) and another more lowly-ranked European team.

New Zealand will be looking to win the trophy in 2019 for the third straight tournament and fourth time overall, and Hansen is unruffled by the thought of playing two-time champion South Africa in the group stage.

England's Eddie Jones (centre) with Australia coach Michael Cheika (left) and Allister Coetzee, of South Africa.

World champions New Zealand will meet South Africa in Pool B, while Ireland and Scotland are joined by the hosts in Pool A.

"You've got to win seven games to get there and you put your best foot forward on all seven occasions".

"We are pretty happy with the draw".

"We want to win the World Cup so the onus is on us to keep getting better".

"The lessons you learn is about winning at World Cups and nothing else".

"It's a death pool for sure", he winced. "It's very hard".

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Japan hooker Shota Horie, one of the stalwarts at the 2015 World Cup, downplayed the revenge factor, however.

"Obviously the weather, the heat and the humidity is something that we're going to plan for and we're going to do that". That's how you've got to chart a course in tournament play. My experience in World Cups is that to have two tough games is the best preparation to go through. "They haven't gone very well so far but it's not a case of righting any wrongs, it is about making sure the lessons have been learnt".

"It's a starting point of knowing that this World Cup is in progress", he said.

Holders New Zealand are in Pool B with South Africa and Italy while England are in a tough Pool C alongside France and Argentina.

He is taking a young squad to Argentina to try to get the biggest group of players to choose from for the World Cup.

Should the Wallabies, as expected, advance from Pool D, they will face the runners-up from Pool D - most likely France or Argentina and possibly England.

Pool C consists of England, France, Argentina and two qualifiers (Americas 1 and Oceania 2). He does, however, also have a contract with Italy as defensive coach - reportedly until the World Cup. I think he'll bring a real energy to the group.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said he was pleased to be in a group that would provide "some challenges".

Land Rover is a proud Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2019 and has a heritage in supporting rugby at all levels from grassroots to elite.

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