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July 31, 2021
2023 Rugby World Cup draw: New Zeland to face host France

2023 Rugby World Cup draw: New Zeland to face host France

Both the All Blacks and France, which last hosted the tournament in 2007, will be confident of progressing through to the knockout stages after also drawing Italy in Pool A.

Meanwhile, reigning champion South Africa is set to face Ireland and Scotland in Pool B whilst 2003 champion England will take on Japan, who hosted the last World Cup in 2019.

It was a case of deja vu in Pool C, with Wales, Australia and Fiji all being paired together as they had been at the 2019 World Cup.

It will be the fourth time Wales and Australia have played in each other in the last five tournaments.

Only 12 countries have qualified so far with another eight still to be confirmed by November 2022.

The 20 places have been split equally between four pools, with the top two sides going through to the quarterfinals.

Seeds for the draw were made using last year’s rankings after a number of teams have struggled to play matches amid the pandemic.

The tournament is set to begin on September 8, 2023, and will be played in nine cities across France, with the final being held in Paris.

‘Vehicle for transformational change’

Speaking ahead of the draw, World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said the tournament will be transformational for both the sport and wider society.

“Sport and physical activity have played a crucial role for society during the pandemic, keeping people physically and mentally healthy and we have worked hard to get rugby back around the world,” he said on Sunday.

“Sport is the very fabric of society. It is the glue which bonds communities together and it will be a vehicle for transformational change at Rugby World Cup 2023.”

He added: “France 2023 will be a tournament for all of France and rugby. It will also play an enormous role in the sport’s recovery from the pandemic, economically and symbolically, and as a platform to engage with new audiences around the world.”

French President Emmanuel Macron, who was present at the draw, said: “The Covid-19 crisis is terrible. In 2023, we want to offer what France can offer: the French way of life – friendliness, gastronomy, parties and culture.”

The draw in full

Pool A

New Zealand

France

Italy

Americas 1

Africa 1

Pool B

South Africa

Ireland

Scotland

Asia / Pacific 1

Europe 2

Pool C

Wales

Australia

Fiji

Europe 1

Final Qualifier Winner

Pool D

England

Japan

Argentina

Oceania 1

Americas 2