Scotland boss Gregor Townsend eagerly awaits World Cup clash with hosts Japan

World Rugby are poised to hold key meetings in Kyoto

The national team have been given a tough task when it comes to following up Six Nations success with a World Cup win at Tokyo 2019...

The All Blacks and England, now the top two teams in the world, would meet in a tantalising semi-final if they both win their pools and got through their quarter-finals.

The United States and Canada are favourites to get the two Americas places, while Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are traditionally the strongest teams in Oceania. "It's not a tough group, it's a good group", Jones said.

Joe Schmidt has spoken about his excitement at Ireland being drawn with Japan ahead of the 2019 Rugby World Cup. We will focus on our journey towards the RWC 2019 and make sure we are ready and well prepared.

"He tells us that a World Cup is a life-defining moment".

The 2017 Championship winners England were drawn in Pool C with France and Argentina.

No team has ever lost in the pool stage and gone on to win the trophy outright.

Defending champion New Zealand and South Africa, victor in 1995 and 2007, have been set against each other in Pool B.

England became the worst-performing hosts in World Cup history in 2015 by failing to qualify from their pool containing Wales and Australia.

Instead, they'll probably draw Pool A victor Ireland in the last eight, which any fan will tell you is an easier proposition than having to play New Zealand.

"But England will be like us - just looking forward to getting here".

This means that should Ireland top the group, they will likely face either New Zealand or South Africa.

"We will find out the details of which order we will play the teams in our pool and our venues in September which will kick-start the next phase of our detailed planning for the tournament".

The make-up of the four groups, which will be completed when the final eight qualifying sides are added over the coming year, sets up a potential England versus Wales clash at the quarter-final stage.

They will be facing South Africa and Italy.

Third-ranked Australia's highest-ranked opponents in the group stages in Japan will be eighth seeds Wales, a team the Wallabies have dominated during a 12-Test winning streak that stretches back to 2008.

Wales coach Warren Gatland, taking a break from preparations for the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand that he will lead in June and July, was relieved that the twice semi-finalists had an easier pool than in England two years ago.

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