Coach Michael Cheika says forecasts are irrelevant after Wallabies' dream draw

"Having the World Cup in Japan is a great opportunity to grow rugby".

Japan will become the first Asian country to host the World Cup, a move which aims to ignite rugby passions around the region.

The Wallabies have won their past 12 Tests against the Red Dragon, including their pool match at the 2015 World Cup in Britain en route to the final, and last lost to Warren Gatland's side in 2008 in Cardiff.

The top North and South America qualifier will be either US or Canada, and the second-best Oceania qualifier will be one of Fiji, Samoa or Tonga.

That's the fate that befell the Welsh ahead of the 2015 draw, and they were pitted against host nation England, two-time victor Australia and Fiji in what was regarded at the time as the toughest pool in the 28-year history of the Rugby World Cup.

France coach Guy Noves said it was a "balanced" group.

Wales found themselves in the Group of Death for the previous tournament where hosts England, Australia, Fiji and Uruguay were the opposition.

After failing to get out of pool play in 2015 England face another battle to get out of its pool at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

The draw was held on Wednesday and the Africa victor will join reigning champions New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and repechage victor in Group B.

Foster said he was relieved not to have drawn the short straw, as England will be lining up in Pool C dubbed as the "pool of death" with France and Argentina.

The Springboks have beaten the All Blacks twice at the World Cup (1995 final and 1999 bronze medal place) and pushed the world champions in an intense clash in the semifinal stage in 2015.

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New Zealand's clash with South Africa promises to be the pool stage highlight, but reigning world champions the All Blacks will not be unduly anxious by a group that also features Italy, Africa 1 and the repechage victor.

All Black coach Steve Hansen is one of the rugby luminaries who will help pick the marbles out of the five pots to decide the make-up of the four pools for the tournament.

Hansen's New Zealand are striving to complete a hat-trick of World Cup victories and underline their dominance of the sport.

Australia coach Michael Cheika will not take anything for granted at the 2019 Rugby World Cup despite receiving a comparatively kind draw.

"Italy, even though we've had a good edge over them for a long time, I think they're an improving team".

Interestingly if the top four in the betting finish top of their respective groups - which they are all odds-on to do - England and New Zealand will be on one side of the knockout draw and Ireland and Australia on the other.

"I am sure Rugby World Cup will be a fantastic success and will further boost rugby around the world", said Abe.

"Australians probably won't know a lot about them but they're a team being run by a few Kiwi lads and they're on the up and up", he said. In Pool D, two-time winners Australia were drawn against Wales and Georgia.

"Everyone will be excited by the game against South Africa, and we know each other pretty well".

Captain Shota Horie said: "All the teams will be strong so I don't have any real preferred opposition". We're looking forward to it.

They famously beat South Africa for the first time in their history last November and Conor O'Shea has the Azzurri improving all the time.

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