All Blacks drawn with South Africa at RWC 2019

Getty Images     10 May 2017     Getty Images

The draw sets up a blockbuster clash between the current World Champions New Zealand and two-time champions South Africa, while Italy will add to the intrigue in what is set to be a highly competitive pool.


Hosts Japan have been drawn in Pool A alongside Ireland and their Rugby World Cup 2015 opponents Scotland. They will be joined by qualifiers from Europe 1 the play-offs.

There’s no easy route through any pool, but Pool C is shaping as perhaps the toughest with England, France and Argentina drawn together. To make matters even more interesting, they will be joined by qualifiers from Americas 1 and Oceania 2.

Finally, Pool D will see Australia, Wales and Georgia joined by qualifiers from Oceania 1 and Americas 2.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen was on hand for the draw in Kyoto and said it will be special to take part in the first Rugby World Cup ever played in Asia: “It’s a special part of the world and rugby is developing here so let’s hope the tournament reaches great heights. It is an exciting place to come to and we wish it the best.”

New Zealand Rugby CEO Steve Tew said the draw represented a milestone on the All Blacks’ path as they looked to again challenge for the Webb Ellis Cup.

“Every pool in a World Cup is challenging and the reality is you need to win seven games, regardless of who is in your pool, to win the tournament.

“We will find out the details of which order we will play the teams in our pool and our venues in September which will kick-start the next phase of our detailed planning for the tournament.

“The pool draw in Kyoto was a great success and brilliantly run. It promises to be an exceptional tournament in 2019 that will showcase rugby on the global stage and help to expand the game the into Asia.”

The 2019 Rugby World Cup will take place in Japan from 20 September to 2 November 2019.

Check out the global reaction to the #RWC2019 pool draw below.