Wallabies, England in ´group of death´

3 December 2012 17:53

The Wallabies, who earned a top pool seeding with wins over the English and Welsh in the past three weeks, could face England at Twickenham and Wales at the Millennium Stadium in a gruelling schedule.

The group will be completed by a qualifier from the Oceania region, expected to be Fiji, and the winner of a playoff, possibly Uruguay.

"It is definitely a pretty tough pool," England coach Stuart Lancaster said following the draw at the Tate Modern gallery in London on Monday.

"To win the World Cup you have to win big games and I have got a huge amount of respect for what Wales have done recently.

"We know their squad pretty well, it is a young side and a lot of them will still be around in 2015.

"Australia have just beaten us and if you look at the age and profile of their squad, they have got some young lads as well.

"We will look forward to it."

South Africa headline Pool B with Scotland, Samoa and qualifiers from Asia and the Americas.

Defending champions New Zealand face Rugby Championship rivals Argentina in Pool C, plus Tonga and qualifiers from Europe and Africa.

All Blacks skipper Richie McCaw tipped both Argentina and Tonga to present a stern test to the holders.

"I think we obviously played Tonga in the last World Cup and they showed with their form there that they will front up," he said.

"We play Argentina regularly these days and I think when you look across all four (pools), everyone will sit there going 'it's not going to be easy', but I suppose that's what a World Cup should be."

France meet Ireland and Italy in Pool D, as well as opponents from Europe and the Americas.

The identities of the eight remaining teams will be decided in a series of qualifying games in 2014.

The tournament gets underway in September 2015, with the final to be held at Twickenham on October 31.

Pool A: Australia, England, Wales, Oceania 1, playoff winner
Pool B: South Africa, Samoa, Scotland, Asia 1, Americas 2
Pool C: New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga, Europe 1, Africa 1
Pool D: France, Ireland, Italy, Americas 1, Europe 2

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