New Zealand to face South Africa in 2019 Rugby World Cup pool

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.

The top North and South America qualifier will be either U.S. or Canada, and the second-best Oceania qualifier will be one of Fiji, Samoa or Tonga.

"This is even more of a thrill than when I played Super Mario at the Rio Olympics", he said, referring to his closing-ceremony appearance dressed as the popular video game character.

"So we need to change and get better so we can win those seven games in a row when the time comes". You've got to beat good teams and we've got two big games against France and Argentina.

"We will be ready".

England are in the top group of seeds for the tournament.

Prior to the draw taking place, World Rugby voted to increase the period of residency to become eligible for an global team from three to five years.

The Pool A draw is by no means the toughest - that would be Pool C [England, France and Argentina for now] - but certain people were getting carried away.

No team has ever lost in the pool stage and gone on to win the trophy outright.

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World champions New Zealand will meet South Africa in Pool B, while Ireland and Scotland are joined by the hosts in Pool A.

Two-time champion Australia is in Pool D with Wales, Georgia, Oceania 1 and Americas 2.

Another African team, most likely Namibia or Kenya, and the victor of the repechage round of qualifying, who will be among the weakest teams at the tournament, will complete the pool.

"Australians probably won't know a lot about them but they're a team being run by a few Kiwi lads and they're on the up and up", he said.

We've got two Tests against Argentina in June so we can practise a little bit, " said coach Eddie Jones, who has led England to 17 wins in 18 games and two straight Six Nations titles.

"We are happy that we will be in a pool that will provide us with some challenges", Hansen said.

"They're one of our rivals, along with South Africa, Australia and France".

The action gets underway on September 20 2019 and ends with the final on November 2.

Scotland beat Japan in a match played just four days after that historic triumph over the Springboks, and the Japanese just failed to get out of the pool.

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