2019 Rugby World Cup Pool Draw - Green and Gold Rugby
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2019 Rugby World Cup Pool Draw

2019 Rugby World Cup Pool Draw

The pools for the 2019 Rugby World Cup to be held in Japan have been drawn.

A gala event took place in the Japanese city of Kyoto attended by a host of dignitaries, including the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The Wallabies have been drawn in Pool D alongside Wales, Georgia and two playoff winners from the Americas and Oceania who are yet to be determined but likely to be either Fiji, Tonga or Samoa.

2015 winners New Zealand have been drawn in Pool B alongside South Africa, Italy, one team from Africa and the repechage winner.

The tournament kicks off on Friday, September 20 at Tokyo Stadium and will be held in 12 cities around Japan with the final to be held on Saturday, November 2 at Yokohama.


Europe 1
Playoff winner


New Zealand
South Africa
Africa 1
Repechage Winner


Americas 1
Oceania 2


Americas 2
Oceania 1

The 12 directly qualified teams are those that finished in the top three of each RWC 2015 pool and are:

Band One: New Zealand, England, Australia, Ireland
Band Two: Scotland, Wales, South Africa, France
Band Three: Argentina, Japan, Georgia, Italy
Band Four: Oceania 1, Americas 1, Europe 1, Africa 1
Band Five: Oceania 2, Americas 2, Play-Off Winner (between Europe 2 and Oceania 3), Repechage Winner

  • So, can the English get knocked out in the pool stages again?

    Argentina are getting better and by 2019 could beat them in Japan. They could lose too of course. And France usually perform better than anyone predicts in the RWC.

    The other pools, unless Wales or the Wobs regress terribly, Pool D looks straight forward. Unless Scotland go backwards under their new coach, Japan will be doomed to miss out sadly, and Italy can’t improve enough unless South Africa keep sliding backwards. I know they beat them in Italy in November but I think the Boks will get better again as they start to buy into the new coaching ethos.

    • Adrian

      Hmmm…not sure, I can see Japan beating Scotland

      • If we went back to May 2015, what odds would you offer me on Japan beating South Africa?

        I think it’s long odds the way Scotland have been playing under Cotter but with a new coach if they go back into their pre-Cotter unable to score tries mode and with Japan playing at home it’s possible. Not likely, but possible.

      • Brumby Runner

        Maybe. But their involvement in SR was apparently aimed to help to improve their play. Could be interesting.

    • mikado

      All the best host nations lose in the group stage. Gives them more time to concentrate on being good hosts ;)

    • Kokonutcreme

      “but I think the Boks will get better again as they start to buy into the new coaching ethos.”

      Coetzee is not a coach that can transform a team. His coaching DNA is very conservative based on a strong, defence, set piece and kicking game.

      That’s how the Stormers played when he was coach.

      It’s good enough to win more games than not in a season, but as it’s limited they can’t change up a gear to win the key games.

      Johann Ackermann could transform the Boks into an exciting, attacking team with the emerging talent and express pace on the wings in SA.

  • Adrian

    Pool of Life

  • Bobas

    I love Wales

  • mikado

    I’m concerned about England’s draw. If I understand the format right, they face a potentially tricky final against New Zealand but will be completely undercooked due to the low quality of the opposition they’ll face in the run-up.

    Frankly, I’m worried we might lose that one.


    • Brent Craig

      IF both go through as top qualifier AND win their respective Quarter Finals then it’s an AB v England Semi. Only way it can be an AB v England Final is if one of them drops a Pool match.

      • Kokonutcreme

        And historically no team has won a World Cup after dropping a pool game.

        • Bobas

          The ’99 Australia dropped a pool game only to go onto win the World Cup.
          And in any other circumstance we also only tied in the semi final against South Africa.

        • Braveheart81

          Umm, no we didn’t. No team has lost a game and gone on to win the RWC.

        • Bobas

          I was talking about the 99 cricket world cup. I should have said we lost two pool games.

  • Lee Grant

    It’s interesting about easy draws or difficult ones.

    Ostensibly Australia has an easy draw, but if that is so they would lose the benefit of surviving a tough draw as happened against the likes of England, Wales and Fiji in 2015.

    I’ve got a theory that the reason the All Blacks didn’t win between their victories of 1987 and 2011 was because their pool games were too easy.

    Or at least it was one of the reasons – their teams in 1991 and 1999 were not stellar by their historical standards and by 2003 they had not quite rebuilt from the Wayne Smith/John Mitchell coaching period – not that the coaches were too blameworthy.

    Pool C is scarcely a “Pool of Death” unless France and Argentina get to a higher level in the interim, but it’s the pool closest to it. Call in the “Pool of Pain” if you will.

    Or call it the “Goldilocks” Pool – not too hard, nor too easy.

    I think England will like this porridge.

    • Kokonutcreme

      “I’ve got a theory that the reason the All Blacks didn’t win between their victories of 1987 and 2011 was because their pool games were too easy.”

      Apart from 1995 when we were in a pool with Wales and Ireland, it could well be a contributing factor, easy lead up wins that didn’t prepare them well enough for the pressure of a knockout game.

    • Kokonutcreme

      “Pool C is scarcely a “Pool of Death” unless France and Argentina get to a higher level in the interim”

      I think the danger with both those sides isn’t their performance before the tournament but how much better they play during the tournament that belies their form.

    • McWarren

      Agree 100% Lee, I’ve said it before, give me a hard pool over an easy one any day. Walks in the park do not prepare a team for sudden death. I think team harmony suffers when you have 3 easy games. Knowing 2 hard matches are coming up tends to focus a team right from the get go, there’s no time for any other bullshit. Unless of course you are French and then team harmony rules apply in reverse.

  • Our winning streak against Wales could be around 15 or so (dependent on how many times we play them) by the time the next World Cup comes around.

  • juswal

    I’ve forgotten how to react to good news.

    • BigNickHartman

      Sort of push your mouth sideways with your cheeks, and then think happy thoughts

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