It may be 998 days away but the pools for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France have been revealed.
20 teams will compete at the World Cup, 12 of which have already earned qualification for the event: South Africa, New Zealand, England, Wales, Ireland, France, Australia, Japan, Scotland, Argentina, Fiji and Italy.
In good news for the Wallabies, who entered the draw as band 2 nation, they have avoided the likes of New Zealand, England and South Africa in their group.
Ninth-ranked Wales and 11th-ranked Fiji are the two toughest teams in Australia’s Pool C, which coincidentally is a repeat of 2019. The Wallabies comfortably beat Fiji but lost to Wales by 4 points in last year’s event.
Meanwhile, host nation France will be joined by the All Blacks in Pool A, while South Africa and Ireland firm as the top two outfits in Pool B.
In Pool C, England will have Japan and Argentina, two nations more than capable of advancing beyond the group stages.
New Zealand, France, Italy, America 1, Africa 1
South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Asia-Pacific 1, Europe 2
Wales, Australia, Fiji, Europe 1, Final, qualifier winner
England, Japan, Argentina, Oceania 1, Americas 2
Draw bands prior to the release of pools:
Band 1 – South Africa, New Zealand, England, Wales
Band 2 – Ireland, France, Australia, Japan
Band 3 – Scotland, Argentina, Fiji and Italy
Band 4 – Oceania 1, Americas 1, Europe 1, Asia / Pacific 1
Band 5 – Africa 1, Europe 2, Americas 2, Final Qualifier Winner
Current top 15 in the world rankings:
1. South Africa
3. New Zealand
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