All Blacks to play South Africa in RWC pool

Ireland and Scotland will meet in Pool A, which also contains hosts Japan.

New Zealand, the holders, are part of pool B, alongside Italy, "Repechage winner", "Africa 1" and, most mouth-watering of all, the 1995 and 2007 winners, South Africa.

England, Australia and Ireland round out the first band with Wales, Scotland, France and South Africa the remaining seeded teams the second band.

Pool C - England, France, Argentina, Americas 1, Oceania 2.

Wales found themselves in the Group of Death for the previous tournament where hosts England, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay were the opposition.

"They have some strong forward play and some gas out wide, so between now and 2019 we're going to have to learn a bit about them".

With a different head coach in Eddie Jones at the helm, there is much expected from England in the next World Cup in Japan, but before that, they will hope to get a kinder draw. We will focus on our journey towards the RWC 2019 and make sure we are ready and well prepared. France have reached three finals, and Argentina have made the semifinals of two of the last three World Cups.

The Wallabies have won their past 12 Tests against the Red Dragon, including their pool match at the 2015 World Cup in Britain en route to the final, and last lost to Warren Gatland's side in 2008 in Cardiff.


We also know how the quarter-finals will go should Ireland advance.

"Whichever side we drew from the top band was always going to be very tough".

England will be hoping to do better the time round, after a awful performance in the last World Cup, when they became the first team to host the tournament and exit before the knockout stages. "We've got to find ways to become bulletproof and we've got two years to do it", Jones said.

"We've got to be able to get good enough to cope with the draw".

"Obviously with heat and humidity it's something we need to plan for", said Hansen, identifying one possible cause for concern.

And what about the current champions New Zealand?

While there is a lot of rugby to be played between now and the tournament itself, which starts on 20 September 2019, Gregor Townsend's team can at least take a degree of comfort from the fact that they have won their most recent meetings against both the Irish and the Japanese.

The favourable draw is a far cry from the last edition of rugby's global showpiece, when Australia battled through the group of death, knocking out co-hosts England during their charge to the title match.

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