Rugby World Cup ponders later draw

A – It’s cold comfort for Australian fans but Rugby World Cup bosses will seek to avoid another pool of death like the Wallabies’ group-stage dogfight with England, Wales and Fiji in future.


Australia, England and Wales would all normally expect to reach a World Cup quarter-final without great threat, but only two teams can qualify from Pool A at the 2015 World Cup starting next month.

World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper of Australia admitted that holding the 2015 World Cup pool draw in December 2012 “did seem a long way out”.

Now the game’s governing body will attempt to delay the draw for the 2019 World Cup in Japan for as long as possible.

“It’s under discussion, it’s not been determined yet,” said Gosper of the 2019 draw.

“We’re going to review what the ideal timing is.

“We would endeavour to make it a bit later but nothing’s been decided at this point.”

World Cup hosts England face the very realistic fear of bombing out of their own competition before the knockout phases when they ought to be planning on going the distance.

The seedings for World Cup pool draws are based on world rankings at the time, and Wales’ winless November in 2012 had a big hand in the creation of such a daunting line-up.

Australia at world number three, England as the fifth-best side and Wales the ninth were all drawn from different pots, and eventually mixed together.

The rankings are very different now, with Australia at No.3, England No.4 and Wales No.6.

“It did seem a long way out,” said Gosper of the 2015 draw.

“You want it to be a true reflection, I guess, of the position at the time of the tournament.

“You’ve got to balance the proximity of the tournament with all of the planning that goes into it.

“We’ll look at that next time to see if it’s possible to make that draw closer to the tournament.”