Rugby World Cup pool draw

The pools for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan will be drawn out in Kyoto this morning

Eamon Donoghue Wed, May 10
 
LIVE: Rugby World Cup pool draw

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  • Hello and Welcome . . .  It might be more than two years away but the build-up for the 2019 Rugby World Cup has already begun.
    Joe Schmidt’s Irish team will this morning find out their World Cup pool opponents, with the draw for the competition taking place from 9am in Kyoto, Japan.

    Also being decided upon this morning, there's been a vote on the motion to change the residency qualification rules for players from three to five years.

    We’ll keep you updated throughout the morning, right here.

    @DonoghueEamon
  • World Rugby has voted to increase the required residency period to be eligible for international rugby from three to five years. So no more 'project players'.

    Read the story in full here

  • There will be four pools of five teams drawn this morning, one from each of the five bands for each pool.

    Twelve teams directly qualified by virtue of their finish at the 2015 World Cup. Eight teams are not yet known.

    The seedings and bands were based on the world rankings at the end of the Six Nations.

  • For the first time ever Ireland are a top seed, as they are fourth in the world rankings, along with New Zealand, England and Australia.

    Therefore they cannot face either of the other three. However, they can still face any of Wales, France, Scotland or South Africa in band two. While band three contains Argentina, who knocked Ireland out at the quarter-final stage in 2015, or Japan who were the surprise package two years ago.

  • BAND ONE -  New Zealand, England, Australia, Ireland.
    Team to avoid: New Zealand.
    Even after successive  World  Cup  wins there is no evidence of a decline in standards from the All Blacks and the reigning champions will enter the tournament as strong favourites.
    BAND TWO -  Scotland, France, South Africa, Wales.
    Team to avoid: France
    There were signs during this year’s Six Nations that France are a team who have turned a corner. There is a long way to go, but in two years they may have advanced sufficiently under Guy Noves to be a force to be reckoned with in Japan.
    BAND THREE -  Argentina, Japan, Italy Georgia
    Team to avoid: Argentina
    The Pumas have gone backwards in recent times, struggling with the demands of playing in the  Rugby  Championship with players exposed to the brutal schedule of Super  Rugby, but they are talented and could come good again at the  World  Cup.
    BANDS FOUR AND FIVE - TBC
  • So, worst case scenario and Ireland could be drawn against  France, Argentina, Samoa and USA. Let's hope not!
  • As for Bands four and five . . .

    BAND FOUR

    Oceania 1
    Highest ranked team from Pacific Nations Cup 2016 and 2017 (Fiji, Samoa or Tonga)

    Europe 1
    Highest-ranked team, excluding Georgia, from the Rugby Europe Championship

    Americas 1
    Winner of United States/Canada playoff

    Oceania 2
    Second-highest ranked team from Pacific Nations Cup 2016 and 2017 (Fiji, Samoa or Tonga)

    BAND FIVE

    Africa 1
    Winner of the Rugby Africa Championship

    Americas 2
    Loser of United States/Canada playoff plays top-ranked South American team after Argentina

    Playoff winner
    Third-placed team from Oceania (Fiji, Samoa or Tonga) plays second highest-ranked team, excluding Georgia, from the Rugby Europe Championship.

    Repechage winner
    Four teams from around the world who have lost out in other categories play in round-robin format.

  • Gerry Thornley's view

    "Thus, no less than all others from the top two bands, Ireland will assuredly hope to avoid meeting Argentina in the pool stages, not least as the Pumas lead Ireland three-one in four previous World Cup meetings . . ."

  • And here's your dummies guide to this morning's World Cup draw . . .

  • Why now?


    The draw is being made today, as to allow for the teams to make their travel and stay arrangements in the various cities across Japan.  


    The draw for the 2015 tournament was made three years out, which explained why Wales were deemed a band three country after a terrible autumn series.


    So World Rugby have decided to move it closer to the event this time around, hoping that the conclusion of the recent Six Nations will give a more accurate picture of where the nations currently stand.

  • The ceremony for the draw is now underway. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe is addressing the crowd at the moment.


    "The first World Cup in Asia is the perfect chance to showcase the sport to Asia who hold so much of the world's population.


    "The Japanese people will be united in welcoming you all in the greatest spirits . . . I have never felt so fired up. It's even more of a thrill then when I played Super Mario at the Olympics!" Yep, he's just said that!

  • It's time. The draw is being explained and is about to get underway
  • The Japanese Prime Minister and New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen among those to make the draw . . .
  • Japan's pool will be decided first . . .

    They go into pool A. The teams from band 5 are being drawn first. Not much to see here, as these teams have yet to qualify.

  • Now for the band four teams, who again have not been decided.  
  • Pool A: Japan, Play-off winner
    Pool B: Repechage winner
    Pool C: Oceania 2
    Pool D: Americas 2
  • Pool A: Japan, Play-off winner, Europe 1, Scotland
    Pool B: Repechage winner, Africa 1, Italy, South Africa
    Pool C: Oceania 2, Americas 1, Argentina, France
    Pool D: Americas 2, Oceania 1, Georgia, Wales
  • Tasty. Nobody wants Pool C. France and Argentina in there already
  • Ireland drawn with Japan and Scotland!
  • Pool A: Japan, Play-off winner, Europe 1, Scotland, Ireland
    Pool B: Repechage winner, Africa 1, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand
    Pool C: Oceania 2, Americas 1, Argentina, France, England
    Pool D: Americas 2, Oceania 1, Georgia, Wales, Australia
  • That's as much as Joe Schmidt could have hoped for. Ireland's band two opposition is Scotland. While they also face hosts Japan.  

    Pool C is the group of death, and England in there again. Against Argentina and France

  • Reaction


    Japan coach Jamie Joseph: "We're fortunate we play Ireland in June so that gives us a good chance to get to know them. Japan haven't beaten Scotland or Ireland before."


    Eddie Jones, England head coach: "Japan is a unique country, a unique culture. So everyone is excited."

  • Pool A: Japan, Play-off winner, Europe 1, Scotland, Ireland


    Along with Scotland and Japan, here's who the other two teams are likely to be . . .


    Europe 1
    Highest-ranked team, excluding Georgia, from the Rugby Europe Championship


    Playoff winner
    Third-placed team from Oceania (Fiji, Samoa or Tonga) plays second highest-ranked team, excluding Georgia, from the Rugby Europe Championship.

  • <br />Europe 1 - Here is the current standing in the Europe Rugby Championship. As it stands <strong>Ireland will face Romania</strong>

    Europe 1 - Here is the current standing in the Europe Rugby Championship. As it stands Ireland will face Romania
  • Playoff winner (Samoa/Spain)

    As it stands the third placed team from Oceania is Samoa (ranked 14th, just one place behind Tonga).  

    So they would play Spain who are currently the second ranked team in the Europe Championship, excluding Georgia.

  • As it stands . . .

    Pool A: Japan, Play-off winner (Spain/Samoa), Europe 1 (Romania), Scotland,  Ireland

  • So that's that . . . As good as Ireland could've hoped for really. The hosts and Scotland. It certainly won't be easy, but a lot of big guns avoided.  


    Now there's just 863 days to go! Thanks a million for joining us. Reaction to come on the site.


    @DonoghueEamon