Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Springboks face All Blacks in Rugby World Cup group stages

Springboks face All Blacks in Rugby World Cup group stages

The victor of the All Blacks pool will face the runner up in Pool A that includes Ireland, Scotland and Japan.

Third-ranked Australia landed in Pool D with eighth seeds Wales at Wednesday night's draw in Kyoto, along with Georgia and two yet-to-be-determined qualifiers from Oceania and the Americas 2 division.

If the All Blacks top Pool B, which also includes South Africa, Italy, Africa 1 (potentially Namibia) and a Repechage victor, then the runner up in Pool A awaits them in the quarter-finals.

Jones said. "We've got two tests against Argentina in June so well get a chance to practice".

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.

"They really improved over the last two years and are certainly a unsafe team".

Japan will become the first Asian country to host the World Cup, a move which aims to ignite rugby passion around the region. Everything we do, every game we play and every day we train is aimed at continuously improving and is focussed on our ultimate goal of winning the World Cup.

Samoa, against whom Wales scraped a victory at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, or Fiji are set to feature in the group as Oceania 1, with Americas 2 completing the picture.

"This is an historic moment for the sport and a great step towards protecting the integrity, ethos and stature of global rugby", said World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot.

"Japan obviously made a memorable impact at the World Cup two years ago, beating South Africa, and will have tremendous support going into the tournament".

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If the Japan 2019 competition unfolds as expected, England should face Wales in the quarter-finals and champions New Zealand a phase later.

Another African team, most likely Namibia or Kenya, and the victor of the repechage round of qualifying, who will be among the weakest teams at the tournament, will complete the pool.

Romania are now in the "Europe 1" slot but qualification will not be determined until next year's Rugby Europe Championship. On the other hand, we know Ireland pretty well and have a couple more opportunities to play them before the World Cup, while we also know a lot about their players through the Guinness PRO12.

Twelve teams were included in yesterday's draw in Kyoto by virtue of finishing in the top three of their groups in 2015. To make the final we have got four very tough games.

All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster says South Africa's recent form will count for nothing at the Rugby World Cup.

As the fourth-ranked team in the world, Ireland were drawn in the top pool and managed to avoid some potentially hard teams in the second and third pools, boosting their prospects of reaching the semi-finals for the first time.

The tournament gets underway in September 2019.

They famously beat South Africa for the first time in their history last November and Conor O'Shea has the Azzurri improving all the time.

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

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