Ireland Handed Favourable World Cup 2019 Draw

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A screen showing the drawn pools is pictured at the Rugby World Cup 2019 pool draw at Kyoto State Guest House in Kyoto.

Defending champions, New Zealand, are part of Pool B, alongside Italy, the Repechage victor and, most mouth-watering of all, the 1995 champions, South Africa.

The pool of death for England once again, although closer inspection suggests that this won't be as tough as meeting Australia and Wales in 2015.

In the last World Cup, England found themselves in the group of death and duly became the first host nation to crash out of the tournament without making it to the knockouts.

The 2019 draw was conducted along similar lines to past tournaments, with the top-12 teams from 2015 qualifying automatically.

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All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen, who was involved in the draw, said he was pleased with the outcome of the draw and was looking forward to a great tournament.

With a different head coach in Eddie Jones at the helm, there is much expected from England in the next World Cup in Japan, but before that, they will hope to get a kinder draw.

"And we have seen that with New Zealand at previous World Cups so that has been a great lesson for us at the right time". France have reached three finals, and Argentina have made the semifinals of two of the last three World Cups.

Ireland have met Japan twice before in the Rugby World Cup, beating in Dublin in 1991 and South Africa in 1995, but the Irish will be wary of a developing nation that memorably beat South Africa in the last World Cup.

Japan, the first Asian country to host the tournament, are in Pool A with Ireland and Scotland, while two-time victor Australia will take on Wales and Georgia in Pool D.

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Hansen's New Zealand are striving to complete a hat-trick of World Cup victories, while England, up to second in the rankings under Jones, are dreaming of ending the All Blacks' dominance.

Michael Cheika is refusing to take comfort after his Wallabies were handed a seemingly saloon passage through to the quarter-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

"We're pretty happy with the draw - every group is going to have some tough teams in it but from a Welsh perspective, I'm happy how it's turned out". "We have two years to get ready".

Japan coach Jamie Joseph said: "Japan haven't beaten Ireland or Scotland to date, so it is going to be a big challenge, but any group we got was going to be a challenge".

France coach Guy Noves said it was a "balanced" group.

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