The 2019 World Cup pools will now be based on where countries are ranked in May 2017.
The venue and exact date for the draw has yet to be determined but it will take place a full 12 months from now, prior to the opening of the June international series next year. This affords all teams the opportunity to make their move up the rankings in the next year in order to secure a better banding at rugby’s showpiece tournament.
Outgoing World Rugby chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The pool allocation draw is an important milestone in the run-in to any Rugby World Cup and it really helps to build excitement and momentum.
“With the identity of 12 teams already known, it will be of huge interest to players and fans to know which sides will be in their pool for what will be a game-changing tournament in Japan.
“While the draw is closer to the start of the tournament this time around compared to the previous RWC, it is necessary to conduct it well in advance for logistical reasons and to allow for an effective ticketing programme to be implemented.”