All Blacks draw Springboks in 2019 Rugby World Cup pool
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 11, 2017,
May 11, 2017, 10:17
Former Springbok flyhalf Joel Stransky believes that facing New Zealand in the group stages of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan does have its advantages and he expects the side to make it out of their first round pool.
Rugby's leading nations will be hoping for a big slice of luck at today's 2019 World Cup draw, where seedings stacked with unsafe teams could throw up more than one group of death.
Kenya-who will face off with Uganda, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Senegal for the sole African ticket-will not avoid New Zealand, Italy, South Africa and the repechage victor if they sail through.
Reigning champions New Zealand have been pitted against South Africa and Italy in Pool B, while England have France and Argentina for company in their five-team group. "It's all very exciting isn't it?".
England have a mixed World Cup record against France and their last meeting was a quarter-final defeat in 2011 in Auckland.
England fell at the first hurdle when hosting the tournament two years ago, with Australia and Wales, who both beat them in 2015, set to face off again in Pool D.
We've had worse draws with host nations like Australia and France, so in terms of pool draws, it's as good as it gets.
"Previously New Zealand have suffered from having very easy pool games", Jones said.
That would mean a spot in Pool D with No. 3 Australia, No. 8 Wales, No. 12 Georgia and Oceania 1 (likely Fiji, Tonga or Samoa).
"You can plan the lay of the land, know the teams you're playing, know who the potential cross-over teams are, you can do the homework but at the end of the day it's all about how we play", he said.
"We've been working hard since arriving back from the 2016 Outgoing Tour to ensure improved results from now on forward‚ with the Rugby World Cup on the distant horizon".
The draw for the tournament to be played in Japan was made on Wednesday and placed the All Blacks in a pool along with South Africa, Italy and two yet-to-be-determined qualifiers.
It features Eddie Jones' second-ranked England, France and 2015 semi-finalists Argentina.
The journey to Japan 2019 starts here but expect plenty more twists and turns before the pools get some clarity.
"We're happy with it, there's some tougher groups, but when you've seen what Japan have done in the last 18 months and Scotland we've struggled with as well".
"All Blacks coach Steve Hansen tried to play down the tag of heavy favourites the three-time world champions are likely to take into the Japan tournament".
Twelve teams were included in yesterday's draw by virtue of finishing in the top three of their groups at the 2015 tournament.