Ireland Handed Favourable World Cup 2019 Draw

New Zealand won the 2015 World Cup by beating Australia at Twickenham Martin Bureau  AFP  Getty Images

New Zealand won the 2015 World Cup by beating Australia at Twickenham Martin Bureau AFP Getty Images

Host nation Japan are also in the group - Scotland beat them in the 2015 pool stage - with Europe 1, possibly Romania, and a play-off victor completing the picture.

New Zealand, who went on to retain the trophy against Australia in the final, and South Africa, who won the tournament in 1995, have been drawn alongside Italy as well as two unknown qualifiers from the Americas continent and a repechage round victor.

"France are really improving over the last two years and certainly a unsafe team".

"Hopefully we'll both play really great rugby and inspire the tournament to go to a higher level".

Eddie Jones's men were drawn in pool C, alongside Argentina, France and two play-off winners: "Oceania 2", which will be one of Samoa, Tonga or Fiji, and "Americas 2".

Defending champions New Zealand will face South Africa and Italy in Pool B, while Ireland, Scotland and Japan were drawn in Pool A. Australia, Wales and Georgia will be in Pool D.

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 2019 Rugby World Cup may be two years away but expectations ahead of the tournament were heightened Wednesday after the draw for the pool stages in Japan threw up a number of potential titanic battles.

If the Japan 2019 competition unfolds as expected, England should face Wales in the quarter-finals and champions New Zealand a phase later.

On the World Rugby website, the governing body has confirmed that "the Pool A victor will face the Pool B runner-up, the Pool B victor the Pool A runner-up".

Kenya-who will face off with Uganda, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Senegal for the sole African ticket-will not avoid New Zealand, Italy, South Africa and the repechage victor if they sail through.

We'll do that, it's a prospect that we're excited by. Pool C victor v Pool D runner-up 3. "We can assume they will be good sides if they're going to make it, so it is what it is".

"If you look at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, we came up short in one half of one game at the end, and that cost us from winning seven in a row".

England were pushed out from 4/1 to to win the World Cup following the draw.

The 12 teams who finished in the top three positions in their groups at the last World Cup automatically qualify.

"I have no doubt that Japan will stage a unique and wonderful tournament in 2019".

Steve Hansen gave a wink when he saw South Africa's name drawn in his side's pool and the All Blacks coach will be confident of topping the group despite being pitted against their biggest rivals.

"Every group is going to have some tough teams in it, but from a Welsh perspective I'm happy how it has turned out".

The 2019 hosts stunned South Africa two years ago and were widely praised for their entertaining brand of rugby.

Garcia blown away by Masters reaction ahead of Players Championship return