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New Zealand to face South Africa in 2019 Rugby World Cup pool

14 May 2017

Hosts Japan could run straight into the New Zealand All Blacks at the 2019 Rugby World Cup if they survive their pool, where they were drawn with Ireland and Scotland on Wednesday (May 10).

Hosts Japan will take on Ireland and Scotland in Pool A at the start of Asia's first Rugby World Cup.

New Zealand, now top of the global rankings, may be expected to win Group B where they are placed with South Africa and Italy.

Twenty nations battle it out for the Rugby World Cup, with the 12 teams who finished in the top three of their pools at the last finals qualifying automatically.

"Particularly that England, France, Argentina pool will be a bit of fun, but the fact that we've got a really big game in it is going to guarantee an edge for us".

When asked about France, Jones said: "They've really improved over the last two years and they're certainly a unsafe team".

The outcome of the draw at the Kyoto State Guest House replicates the last World Cup when they were paired in the "pool of death" with Australia and Wales, resulting in the hosts' demise at the earliest possible stage.

"You've got to be targeting putting a team on the paddock that plays the absolute best in every game because that creates what we love to call momentum", he said.

England have been handed a tough Pool C with France and Argentina, plus Americas 1 (either U.S. or Canada) and Oceania 2 (Fiji, Samoa or Tonga).

The draw for Japan 2019 has been far kinder to Wales, who have been matched alongside Australia, Georgia and two qualifiers, most likely Fiji and Canada.

Noves, the 63-year-old former Toulouse coach, added on the French Rugby Federation's website: "At the World Cup there are no easy pools or matches".

The two Southern Hemisphere powerhouses clashed in the semi-finals of the 2015 edition of the tournament in England, but will meet in the opening stage of the event in Pool B in two years' time.

Band One - New Zealand (1), England (2), Australia (3), Ireland (4).

The Pool A winners will face the Pool B runner-up in the quarter finals, with the Pool B victor face the Pool A runner-up.

Romania are now in the "Europe 1" slot but qualification will not be determined until next year's Rugby Europe Championship. "I think it is good for us and it will keep us on our toes".

Australia, twice champions and the 2015 runners-up, will become reacquainted with Wales in Pool D, which also includes 11th-ranked Georgia.

"History shows that you need to win seven games to win the World Cup", said Jones.

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.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe got proceedings underway by drawing the ball that confirmed Japan would join Pool A.

"They can pick anyone from around the world, so it's going to be a very different team that we face".

But since then, the All Blacks have had the better of South Africa, dominating the sport, winning the 2011 and 2015 editions of the competition.