Jones looks to the gods after RWC draw

We want to win the World Cup.

Holders New Zealand were bracketed with South Africa and Italy, while hosts Japan got a kinder draw against Ireland and Scotland.

This means that should Ireland top the group, they will likely face either New Zealand or South Africa.

Hansen is braced for a tough Pool B, but knows his defending champions will have to beat the best teams on the planet if they are to win the tournament for a third time in succession.

Australia, runners up two years ago, will become reacquainted with Wales and also face Georgia and two other teams who have yet to qualify in Pool D. "It's all very exciting isn't it?".

"Everyone will get excited by it, and we know each other pretty well so we'll just continue to get to understand each other before we get here", Hansen said.

The Wallabies have won their past 12 Tests against the Red Dragon, including their pool match at the 2015 World Cup in Britain en route to the final, and last lost to Warren Gatland's side in 2008 in Cardiff.

"England were, with New Zealand, the scarecrow that everyone wanted to avoid". "The Rugby World Cup now comes in to sharper focus for everyone and it looks, from the draw today, like it's going to be another great tournament".


As one of the top seeds [fourth in the rankings], Joe Schmidt's men were drawn in with hosts Japan, Scotland and the victor of qualification matches from Europe and a play-off.

Reigning world champions New Zealand and struggling South Africa will also meet in a repeat of the 2015 semi-finals.

Speaking about England's Pool C opponent, Jones added: "France have really improved over the past two years and are certainly a risky team".

"When you get into that type (of tournament) - the European Cup or all those things - you don't forecast, you don't predict what's going to happen, you don't gamble on things".

"I have never felt so fired up than I feel now", said Abe.

"They're one of our rivals, along with South Africa, Australia and France". "This group is very well balanced and will allow us to play tough games from the start". We're aware the match against Argentina is going to be decisive.

Another African team, most likely Namibia or Kenya, and the victor of the Repechage round of qualifying will complete their pool.

Beauden Barrett and the All Blacks could again face the Wallabies in the final of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

  • Steve Townsend