England, Wales to be avoided in RWC draw

By Jim Morton,

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    The Wallabies will be hoping to avoid rising England and faltering Six Nations champions Wales when the 2015 Rugby World Cup draw is held early Tuesday morning (AEDT).

    Australia pulled off grinding and somewhat fortunate wins over the English and Welsh in the past three weeks – to guarantee a top pool seeding – but want neither nation drawn alongside them in three years time.

    All will be revealed when the International Rugby Board holds its pool allocation draw at 2am in London, the scene of the next RWC final.

    Ranked No.3 in the world, the Wallabies are in band one on the IRB rankings with defending champions New Zealand, South Africa and France also to be top seeds.

    Despite England’s dominant 38-21 victory over the All Blacks on the weekend, the hosts remain the game’s fifth-ranked nation and stand out as the strongest second-band team, ahead of Ireland, Samoa and Argentina.

    With home support and a young, attacking team, Stuart Lancaster’s men are tipped to be a major contender and 2003 World Cup-winning coach Clive Woodward rightly says none of the top sides want to meet them in pool play.

    “It makes the draw fascinating, given England have just demolished New Zealand,” Woodward told the BBC.

    “That one result will make the southern hemisphere teams sit up and say for once ‘we want to keep away from England’.”

    Sidelined Wallabies captain James Horwill stressed home ground advantage would make England a more dangerous prospect.

    “When any team plays at home in a World Cup that’s an advantage for them … you saw that last time with New Zealand,” he told AAP.

    While the Wallabies won’t fear Wales, whoever draws them will automatically find themselves in the “pool of death” as three leading nations will be fighting for two quarter-final spots.

    The Red Dragons went unbeaten through the Six Nations just eight months ago but have slipped to ninth in the world on the back of seven straight losses.

    Four of those have come in tight matches against Australia, including two heart-breaking last-gasp defeats with Mike Harris kicking truly in Melbourne and Kurtley Beale scoring with 23 seconds left in Cardiff.

    “It shows there isn’t much difference between the top nations – they were very close to making the World Cup final last year,” Horwill said.

    “Things haven’t fallen their way this year and it also shows you can’t read too much into (World Cup) form this far out.”

    Italy, Tonga and Scotland round out band three with Wales, while minnow qualifiers will complete the 20-strong field which is divided into four pools of five.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (64)

    • December 4th 2012 @ 5:02am
      james said | December 4th 2012 @ 5:02am | ! Report

      LOL. this was a jinx.

      CONFIRMED-Wales, England and Australia in the same pool!

      • December 4th 2012 @ 11:28am
        formeropenside said | December 4th 2012 @ 11:28am | ! Report

        Throw in Fiji who came 5th in 2007.

    • December 4th 2012 @ 5:13am
      Billy Bob said | December 4th 2012 @ 5:13am | ! Report

      Yeh, really funny Johnno.
      At least we have been told early. Whoever wins that pool will have a chance of the title due to its baptism of fire.
      Now that that draw has got our attention, maybe we could start developing Australian rugby now?

    • December 4th 2012 @ 5:44am
      mania said | December 4th 2012 @ 5:44am | ! Report

      bugger manu samoa in the same pool as the boks again. my prediction samoa will get their first win vs the boks next wc. with a little bit of luck and a proper neutral ref samoa’ll win

      • December 4th 2012 @ 7:35am
        Lippy said | December 4th 2012 @ 7:35am | ! Report

        How many times have they been in the same pool as South Africa now?
        I think they’ll be quite happy with their pool.
        Tonga face the All Blacks again in pool play for the 4th time I believe.

        Australia sure have a tough pool but so do their rivals. There is every chance that England fail to qualify in their own tournament.

        Many English fans and scribes are getting way ahead of themselves after their deserved win against NZ. I said on another thread that I don’t know if a fully fit All Blacks team would have faired much better, but as has been pointed out by posters above and on other threads. The Wallabies beat them in 2011 yet did not go onto anything special in the year following. The All Blacks were suffering from the effects of the Norovirus and it was the last match of a gruelling test year albeit shorter than Australias. These are not excuses they are facts and it is a big reason why most Kiwis are ok with the loss sure it irks slightly but nowhere near as much as many people would like us to believe and strangely this seems to irk people more that we kiwis are taking the loss on the chin so well.

        Australia to top their pool at RWC

        • December 4th 2012 @ 7:46am
          mania said | December 4th 2012 @ 7:46am | ! Report

          this next wc will the 4th time in a row that boks and manu are in the same pool. at least this time its not the pool of death.
          i reckon aus have the pool of death. only 2 can go thru out of aus, eng and wales.
          i dont blame eng for crowing from the rooftops after their win vs the AB’s. aus did the same last year after winning the 3N’s. it gave them confidence and a belief that they could roll any team. eng have this belief and it can only be a good thing. arogance well channelled can be a powerful motivator.
          also as aus did for the AB’s last year it took a lot of focus off the AB’s which is also a good thing.
          i agree with you lippy that most kiwi’s dont mind this loss. i enjoyed it for the simple fact that AB’s got given a lesson with such style and intelligence. eng played awesome and were smart. how often do the AB’s get out smarted in a rugby game? it also pointed out that even with a superior game plan and a team able to execute that gameplan (ie playing at pace) that in the end it still comes down to who played smarter.
          this has also let the world know that AB’s can be beaten so hopefully teams will come with the mentality that they can win, and open up the game, instead of the mentality to minimise the loss, therefore killing and slowing the ball at every opportunity.
          for a loss its pretty positive

    • December 4th 2012 @ 7:45am
      Riccardo said | December 4th 2012 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      D’OH!

    • December 4th 2012 @ 8:34am
      Rob9 said | December 4th 2012 @ 8:34am | ! Report

      Jimmy, you jinxed us!!! 😉

      What could make this really curly for us is the fact that we may be taking on Wales in Cardiff! Isn’t Millenium being thrown a few games? If we loose to England (quite possible) and we’re down by 3 against Wales heading into the 80th minute, I don’t want to think about what sort of state I’ll be in!!

      On another note, Fiji will probably be in this group and I know they’re not up to the giant killing standards that they’ve been at in the past but they could get their act together in 3 years. The islanders have provided a spanner in the works for the Welsh before.

      Very interesting group indeed.

      • Roar Guru

        December 4th 2012 @ 8:47am
        Derm McCrum said | December 4th 2012 @ 8:47am | ! Report

        Wales won’t be allowed play any games in Millennium against Band 1 or 2 teams at pool stage.

        • December 4th 2012 @ 8:57am
          Rob9 said | December 4th 2012 @ 8:57am | ! Report

          Confirmed??

    • Roar Guru

      December 4th 2012 @ 8:45am
      Derm McCrum said | December 4th 2012 @ 8:45am | ! Report

      “The Wallabies will be hoping to avoid rising England and faltering Six Nations champions Wales when the 2015 Rugby World Cup draw is held early Tuesday morning (AEDT).
      Australia pulled off grinding and somewhat fortunate wins over the English and Welsh in the past three weeks – to guarantee a top pool seeding – but want neither nation drawn alongside them in three years time.”

      Good Call!

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