The draw for the 2021 Rugby World Cup will take in November it has been confirmed. World Rugby and the French Organising committee said the pool draw for the 2023 Rugby World Cup will take place in Paris after the November internationals in 2020.
This tournament will have 20 teams. 12 of those will have gained automatic qualification through their ranking in the 2019 Rugby World Cup. This means, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Ireland, France, England, Scotland, Wales, Italy, Argentina, Japan and Fiji are all guaranteed places.
Furthermore, as with all Rugby World Cups. The 12 teams outlined above will be seeded. This is broken down into three bands, 1, 2 and 3, 4 and 5. These bands will be determined after the November international games have taken place. However, if you were for example to look at the bands as they would be now. Ireland would be in Band 2 alongside Australia, Japan and France. South Africa and New Zealand would be in band 1 along with England and Wales. Band 3 would see Gregor Townshend’s Scotland, Argentina, Fiji and Italy.
Bands 4 and 5 will come from the 8 teams that will have to qualify for the tournament. Some of these games will begin this year. World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said, “The pool draw is an important milestone on the road to Rugby World Cup 2023 in France as it really drives excitement and momentum both in the host nation and throughout the global rugby family – it is the moment teams and fans can start to plan”.
Ireland fans will of course be looking forward to the Six Nations this weekend. However, in the long term of things we all would hope they can get past the quarter-final in the next rugby World Cup.