The 2019 Rugby World Cup draw is the first step towards the big dance in Japan as teams look to build and prepare for who they could be coming up against and how it will impact their campaign. Catch all the live draw updates and results from 6pm (AEST) on The Roar.
The draw and pool placement has had huge implications for tournaments in the past. Who can forget England being bundled out of their home World Cup after copping the pool of death back in 2015, or both Wales and Ireland being pipped in 2007 from making the quarter-finals?
The draw is also a massive factor for the smaller nations who are looking to make a finals appearance, with the Island nations, in particular, thriving off beating out their fellow Oceania rivals.
This year will continue the format of 20 teams in the tournament spread across four pools containing five nations each.
Before the draw, each team is placed in a band that is dependent on their current world ranking. Band 1 is the highest and Band 5 is the lowest. Each group (or pool) is made up of five teams, one from each of the bands.
There are 12 teams who have automatically qualified for the tournament and will take up the first three bands. Those sides got a free ticket because they finished in the top three of their pool in the last World Cup.
The bands are as follows with their current ranking:
Band 1: New Zealand (1), England (2), Australia (3) and Ireland (4).
Band 2: Scotland (5), France (6), South Africa (7) and Wales (8).
Band 3: Argentina (9), Japan (11), Georgia (12), Italy (15).
The final eight positions in the tournament and last two bands are a bit messier.
Bands four and five are filled in from a range of qualifying tournaments currently going on around the world. For a more detailed explanation of who can qualify in what position, head over to our Rugby World Cup fixtures page, but the qualifying positions are currently divided up as follows:
Band 4: Oceania 1, Americas 1, Europe 1 and Africa 1
Band 5: Oceania 2, Americas 2, Playoff winner, Repechage winner
We won’t know which teams qualify until November 2018, but we will find out which qualification spot will be in what group, as well as which group each already-qualified team will be in, tonight.
Catch all the live draw updates and results from 6pm (AEST) on The Roar.