England drawn to face France and Argentina

The Rugby World Cup draw took place in Kyoto today, as the 12 teams that have already qualified learned who their pool opponents would be when the tournament kicks off on September 20, 2019.

Ireland and Scotland will meet in Pool A, which also contains hosts Japan, in possibly the easiest group of the four that contains the only all-Six Nations showdown.

Pool C is the toughest on paper, pitting England against France, Argentina, Americas 1 and Oceania 2.

"We want to win the World Cup, that's our ambition".

Australia, England and Wales had to fight for two spots in the playoffs for the 2015 World Cup before the Wallabies went on to lose the London final to the All Blacks.

Holders New Zealand were bracketed with South Africa and Italy, while hosts Japan got a kinder draw against Ireland and Scotland.

South Africa's slump to seventh in the world rankings means they face the All Blacks for the first time in the pool stage of a World Cup but the Springboks will fancy their chances of getting past Italy and going through.

The Springboks have been drawn against the world's number one team, New Zealand, in the pool stages of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Pool A will be made up of two qualifiers, one from Europe, potentially Romania, and the other a cross-continental play-off victor. Eddie Jones's men were drawn in Pool C, alongside Argentina, France and "Oceania 2", which will be one of Samoa, Tonga or Fiji. You can look in two ways - it's a hard pool or it's a great pool - but you've just go to get through it.

Georgia coach Milton Haig, another New Zealander, said his side would need to learn to play a more expansive game if they were to get out of the pool stage for the first time. "They really improved over the last two years and are certainly a risky team".

"It's massively exciting, a unique country and unique culture".

Japan shocked the World Cup by upsetting South Africa 34-32 on the opening weekend, but had to face Scotland just four days later.

Yes, the Azzurri beat the Springboks last time they met in November, but it would take a fearless man to bet against South Africa restoring some pride in their national game by the time the World Cup rolls around.

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.

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