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 @ 8:49am
      Syd said | December 4th 2012 @ 8:49am | ! Report

      Shame that you have 3 teams that currently have very young squads and in 3 years time they could be peaking! If they all did that you would want to see these guys in the semis but as it is we won’t. Never mind…

      This is the one draw we didn’t want… and the one draw the Welsh didn’t want but for the english it could of been worse as they could of had SA or the AB’s ant they struggle against those guys but have a good record against us.

    • December 4th 2012 @ 8:50am
      Syd said | December 4th 2012 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      in the WC that is

    • December 4th 2012 @ 10:06am
      jameswm said | December 4th 2012 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      We get the highest ranked tier 2 team (England) plus the ighest ranked tier 3 team (Wales).

      And Oceania qualifier – I haven’t seen Fiji’s name in there, so does that mean Fiji too?

      Anyway, if Australia lose to England and Wales, they don’t deserve to make it through. Get an easy run through the pool, and you can cop a tough opponent in the quarters.

      Win the pool, and I believe we get Ireland in the quarter and NZ and SA are, if they win their pool, on the other side.

      So whilst the pool is tough, the knockout games aren’t as tough as they could be.

      I’m happy with that. It’s a WC, you’ve got to beat these teams. I think we do better from a tough pool.

      • December 4th 2012 @ 10:23pm
        Colin N said | December 4th 2012 @ 10:23pm | ! Report

        The winner of Pool A plays the runner-up of Pool B, so logically that’s either Samoa or Scotland. Then in the semis just a quick calculations suggests you either play Ireland, France or Argentina in the semis.

        So whoever wins the toughest pool probably has an easier run through. But that’s if everything goes as it should, which didn’t happen in 2011.

    • December 4th 2012 @ 11:18am
      Tissot Time said | December 4th 2012 @ 11:18am | ! Report

      To win a RWC you have to beat the best teams so if you have to meet some of them in the pool stages then so be it.

      • December 4th 2012 @ 11:29am
        formeropenside said | December 4th 2012 @ 11:29am | ! Report

        Except South Africa in 2007.

        • Roar Rookie

          December 4th 2012 @ 11:49am
          Neuen said | December 4th 2012 @ 11:49am | ! Report

          Not SA fault the Aussies and NZ got knocked out by France and England. So the best two teams were SA and England in that tournament

        • December 4th 2012 @ 11:51am
          Tissot Time said | December 4th 2012 @ 11:51am | ! Report

          They were the best because they won the tournament

          • Roar Rookie

            December 4th 2012 @ 11:59am
            Neuen said | December 4th 2012 @ 11:59am | ! Report

            Agree. There are no easy matches in the WC. 1991 Australia vs Ireland is a good example

      • December 4th 2012 @ 11:30am
        Ryan said | December 4th 2012 @ 11:30am | ! Report

        Technically that is not true any team can lose on the day look at what just happened on the weekend NZ lost to England but I doubt many rugby folk would say that England were the best team in the world in 2012.
        A good team can have an off day and lose to a lesser team who were better on the day but not better overall.

        There is also much debate about South Africa in 2011 vs Australia many believe South Africa were the better team and were hard done by Lawrence and therefore not beaten by the Wallabies but the ref.

        Look at Tonga for example in RWC 2011 they beat the 2nd best team at the World Cup but didn’t get out of pool play.
        Also look at Ireland they beat Australia who finished 3rd at the WC and where did Ireland end up?

        Generally speaking yes you will have to beat some of the best teams but you will not necessarily beat the best as other teams may have already done you a favour by beating them for you.

    • December 4th 2012 @ 12:10pm
      mighty deceaser said | December 4th 2012 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

      Australia have won every world cup held in the UK. The Wallabies will top their group with Wales and England fighting it out for 2nd place. Wales to go through. England will not make it past the pool stages

      • December 4th 2012 @ 1:28pm
        Dick Dastardly said | December 4th 2012 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

        That maybe but it’s no guarantee that the Wallabies’ll continue that winning streak. Not convinced by your presumption that Wales’ll go through and England won’t make it past the pool stages. What do you base that on?

    • December 4th 2012 @ 2:50pm
      Mick said | December 4th 2012 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

      lets pray England CHOKE. There will be pressure on them to win and since they beat the ABs that expectation in only going to get bigger.

      Im hoping the wallabies and ABs fly under the radar by 2015. NZ with an aging squad and Wallabies with a terrible coach

      • Roar Rookie

        December 4th 2012 @ 10:15pm
        Neuen said | December 4th 2012 @ 10:15pm | ! Report

        Choke or panic?