The rugby world eagerly awaits the pool draw for the 2019 World Cup

It takes place in Japan on Wednesday

BY Simon Maguire 16:00 Tuesday 9 May 2017, 16:00 9 May 2017

The Rugby World Cup trophy. Picture by: Jurgen Keyler/DPA/PA Images

The eyes of the rugby world will be firmly fixed on Kyoto, Japan on Wednesday when the draw for the pool stages of the next World Cup will be made.

Ireland secured a top seeding by beating England in the last match of this season's Six Nations and will take their place alongside New Zealand, England and Australia in the first pot for the 2019 tournament.

The second band of seeds sees Scotland, France, South Africa and Wales grouped together while Argentina, Japan, Georgia and Italy are all in the third pot.

While there is no easy draw, most groups will be hoping to avoid 2015 semi-finalists Argentina as their third seeded team.

The South Americans have introduced a new policy and will only pick players now who line-out in Super Rugby. They are still getting used to the transition of excluding European-based players and the policy has seen a drop in form in 2017.

However, they have openly said that this new approach is aimed at peaking in 2019 for rugby's showcase event. 

The remaining eight teams will be decided through the global qualifying system. 

Oddly, Ireland have never played South Africa at a World Cup. Of course, the Springboks didn't take part in 1987 or 1991 before hosting and winning the 1995 event.

Ireland have also never progressed past the quarter-final stage. The draw will take place at 09:00 GMT on Wednesday. 


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