Rugby World Cup 2021: England to face France and Wales will play New Zealand

Jacinda Ardern draws a team
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was involved in the Rugby World Cup 2021 draw

Two-time winners England have been drawn against Six Nations rivals France in the Rugby World Cup 2021 pool stages, while Wales will face defending champions New Zealand.

Australia also feature in a challenging Pool A for Wales, with the fourth team yet to be determined in qualifiers.

England also play South Africa and World Cup debutants Fiji.

Ireland and Scotland are yet to secure their places in the tournament and their qualifiers have been postponed.

Former champions the United States are in Pool B alongside Canada and yet-to-be-determined qualifiers from Europe and Asia.

The European qualifying tournament, which is due to feature Italy, Ireland, Scotland and an unconfirmed fourth team, will now not take place in December because of coronavirus and no new date has been announced.

The winner of that event will earn a World Cup spot, with the runner-up getting another chance in the final qualifying tournament.

Wales, who named Warren Abrahams as their head coach on Wednesday, could end up in a pool with Ireland or Scotland if either team reaches the World Cup via the final qualifying tournament.

The Rugby World Cup will take place from 18 September-16 October, with the final being played at 50,000-capacity stadium Eden Park.

More to follow.

Pool A Pool B
New Zealand Canada
Australia USA
Wales TBD team from Europe
Final qualifier winner TBD TBD team from Asia
Pool C
South Africa

BBC News