England drawn with France and Argentina in 2019 World Cup pool

Chris Robshaw
England became the first hosts to fail to reach the knockout stages at the 2015 World Cup

England have been drawn with France and Argentina in a tough Pool C for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Scotland and Ireland are in Pool A, along with the hosts.

Wales will face Australia in a repeat of the 2015 tournament, at which both beat hosts England to qualify from the group stage. Georgia join them in Pool D.

Defending champions New Zealand will take on South Africa and Italy in Pool B.

The 2019 World Cup runs from 20 September to 2 November.

"It's massively exciting, a unique country and unique culture," said England head coach Eddie Jones, who led Japan at the last World Cup.

England will face Argentina in two Tests in June - both of which will be broadcast live on the BBC - and Jones will use the series to "practise a little bit" against the Pumas.

Speaking of England's other pool opponent, the Australian added: "France have really improved over the past two years and are certainly a dangerous team."

England failed to advance from their "group of hell" in 2015, becoming the first hosts to exit before the knockout stage.

Full draw

The 12 teams who automatically qualified by finishing in the top three of their groups at the last World Cup have been drawn.

The eight remaining teams have had their slots allocated and will be determined by the qualification process that ends in 2018.

England have also drawn the top North and South America qualifier (either USA or Canada), as well as the second-best Oceania qualifier, which will be one of Fiji, Samoa or Tonga.

Pool A: Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Europe 1, play-off winner (Europe 2 v Oceania 3)

Pool B: New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Africa 1, repechage winner

Pool C: England, France, Argentina, Americas 1, Oceania 2

Pool D: Australia, Wales, Georgia, Oceania 1, Americas 2

Reaction - 'win seven games'

England head coach Eddie Jones: "We want to win the World Cup in 2019, and to win it, we need to be ready to play and beat anyone.

"Our pool will be highly competitive and full of intensity, as a World Cup group should be. History shows you need to win seven games to win the tournament and we will greatly respect every team we play."

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend: "Obviously there's an excitement playing the host nation, and it probably guarantees a sell-out game in that fixture. I'm sure there will be a lot of buzz around Japan around the group we're involved in.

"Whether it's better for us or Ireland that we know each other so well, we will find out in a couple of years' time."

Ireland vice-captain Jamie Heaslip: "Getting to avoid South Africa, France and Wales is a big thing for us.

"We're happy with it, there are some tougher groups, but you've seen what Japan have done in the past 18 months and Scotland we've struggled with as well."

Wales head coach Warren Gatland: "We've got Australia and it looks like we could get Fiji again, so a couple of teams from 2015, but we're happy with the draw.

"It's going to be tough and competitive, but that's what you want."

England could face Wales in quarters

World Rugby has confirmed the structure for the knockout stages of the 2015 tournament will remain in place in 2019. That means:

  • The winners of Pool B will face the runners-up in Pool A
  • The winners of Pool C will face the runners-up in Pool D
  • The winners of Pool D will face the runners up in Pool C
  • The winners of Pool A will face the runners-up in Pool B

Teams who played each other in the pool stages cannot meet again in the semi-finals.

So England and Wales could meet in the quarter-finals, with the winner potentially facing a semi-final against New Zealand.

The All Blacks could face either Ireland or Scotland in the quarter-finals.


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