England might meet Wales within the 2023 Rugby World Cup quarter-finals after the 2 rivals have been positioned in the identical half of the draw, with Eddie Jones’s aspect avoiding the hardest opposition on supply as hosts France have been paired with New Zealand.
Jones’s aspect will nonetheless want to make sure they meet expectations by rising from Pool D in a single piece, along with his former crew Japan rewarded for his or her spectacular run to the 2019 World Cup knockout stage by becoming a member of England within the group alongside resurgent Argentina, who have been defeated by the 2003 world champions within the pool stage of final yr’s match.
They are going to be joined by both Samoa or Tonga, and one of many United States, Canada or Uruguay.
With England very a lot anticipated to win their group, they’d tackle the second-placed aspect in Pool C, earlier than a semi-final showdown towards the winner of Pool A or runner-up in Pool B, which given the present world rankings would pit them towards the All Blacks as soon as once more in a repeat of the beautiful 2019 semi-final. The draw additionally opens up the potential for a repeat of their run within the knockout stage in dealing with the three southern hemisphere heavyweights back-to-back.
England captain Owen Farrell will hope to go one higher in main his crew to World Cup glory, however there will probably be a well-known feeling for him within the pool stage after being on the receiving finish of a excessive sort out that noticed Argentine lock Tomas Lavanini despatched off throughout England pool-stage win final yr.
“Argentina are an unbelievably passionate crew. Everyone is aware of that,” Farrell mentioned after the draw. “The way in which that they carried out over this Rugby Championship that is simply gone on is clearly improbable.
“However on the identical time there’s a very long time to go earlier than the World Cup and there is plenty of time for everyone to enhance and make a run for it. Everyone is trying to construct to be sure that when the World Cup begins they’re going to be at their greatest.”
The England skipper was underneath no illusions over the competitors inside the pool, though he did stress that there have been few simple choices trying throughout the draw.
“It is an amazing pool, it is an amazing pool to be part of,” he added. “If you happen to look throughout all of them, they’re all powerful, powerful swimming pools. Clearly with the way in which that Japan and Argentina are going on the minute, a number of the rugby that has been performed over the previous couple of years by them each, it is going to be a troublesome pool.”
Wales discovered themselves positioned alongside acquainted opposition as they have been drawn in Pool C alongside Australia and Fiji for the third consecutive World Cup, that means a fifth straight match through which they may come up towards the Pacific Islanders. The trio all confronted off in 2019 and joined England within the ‘Pool of Loss of life’ in 2015, and with Wayne Pivac’s aspect struggling to only three wins from their 10 video games in 2020, followers will probably be trying on nervously at two appreciable opponents.
Ought to Wales progress to the knockout stage, they may meet one of many prime two sides in England’s pool.
The opposite half of the draw sees hosts France grouped with the All Blacks and Italy in what will probably be a renewal of a well-known World Cup rivalry. The three-time world champions New Zealand have been famously knocked out of each the 1999 and 2007 World Cups by Les Bleus, however they haven’t met on the international gathering because the 2011 remaining when Steephan Donald famously kicked the All Blacks to victory.
The remaining group sees Ireland and Scotland be a part of reigning champions South Africa in Pool B in what’s a frightening draw for all three concerned, though it would show a troublesome ask for a Scottish aspect that failed to achieve the knockout stage final yr after coming unstuck to Japan.
Rugby World Cup 2023 draw
Pool A: New Zealand, France, Italy, Americas 1, Africa 1
Pool B: South Africa, Eire, Scotland, Asia/Pacific 1, Europe 2
Pool C: Wales, Australia, Fiji, Europe 1, Closing qualifier winner
Pool D: England, Japan, Argentina, Oceania 1, Americas 2