World Rugby and the Japan 2019 organising committee will host the Rugby World Cup 2019 pool draw on 10 May 2017 in Kyoto’s State Guest House.
The iconic venue is a national symbol in Japan and has played host to globally important meetings, including hosting world leaders at the 2016 G7 summit.
How does it work?
Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan comprises of 20 teams allocated into four pools of five teams. The 12 directly qualified teams from Rugby World Cup 2015 will be seeded based on the World Rugby World Rankings on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 and positioned into three bands of four teams.
The 12 directly qualified teams are those that finished in the top three of each RWC 2015 pool and are:
1. New Zealand – Rugby World Cup 2015 champions
2. Australia – Rugby World Cup 2015 runners-up
3. South Africa – Rugby World Cup 2015 semi-finalist
4. Argentina – Rugby World Cup 2015 semi-finalist
5. Wales – Rugby World Cup 2015 quarter-finalist
6. Scotland – Rugby World Cup 2015 quarter-finalist
7. Ireland – Rugby World Cup 2015 quarter-finalist
8. France – Rugby World Cup 2015 quarter-finalist
9. England – Rugby World Cup 2015 third in Pool A
10. Japan – Rugby World Cup 2015 third in Pool B
11. Georgia – Rugby World Cup 2015 third in Pool C
12. Italy – Rugby World Cup 2015 third in Pool D
The remaining eight teams for RWC 2019 will come through the global qualification process, which kicked off in 2016, and will be known as:
1. Oceania 1
2. Europe 1
3. Americas 1
4. Oceania 2
5. Africa 1
6. Americas 2
7. Play-off winner
8. Repechage winner
For details on the regional qualification process visit http://www.rugbyworldcup.com/qualifying/process
As with previous RWC tournaments, there will be four pools of five teams. Each team will be banded according to strength to try and ensure evenly matched pools. The teams in each band will be randomly drawn to determine the pools they go into.
The 12 directly qualified teams will be allocated into the top three bands as follows:
- Band 1 The four highest ranked directly qualified teams
- Band 2 The next four highest ranked directly qualified teams
- Band 3 The final four directly qualified teams
The eight qualifying places will be allocated to the other two bands, Band 4 & 5.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “The pool draw is an important milestone on the road to Rugby World Cup 2019 as it really drives excitement and momentum both in the host nation and throughout the global rugby family – it is the moment when teams and fans really start to plan for their Rugby World Cup 2019 experience.
The timing of the draw two and a half years out from Rugby World Cup 2019 enables RWCL and Japan Rugby 2019 to develop the match schedule in association with Rights Holding broadcasters, confirm venues and base camps and provide teams with an appropriate lead-in time to maximise planning and preparation.”
Japan Rugby 2019 organising committee Chief Executive Akira Shimazu said: “It is the first time that the pool draw has been hosted outside of the UK or Ireland and we are determined to make the most of this opportunity to showcase the very best of Japan to the world, and the best of rugby to Japan. It is very exciting.”