2023 Rugby World Cup draw
Scots land tough group with South Africa and Ireland
Tough: South Africa awaits (pic: SNS Group)
Scotland will face a stern test to emerge from their 2023 Rugby World Cup group after the draw pooled them with reigning champions South Africa and Ireland.
It is the second successive time that Ireland and Scotland have been drawn together at the Rugby World Cup, with the Irish comfortably defeating Gregor Townsend’s side 27-3 last year in Japan.
Pool B will be completed with the leading Oceania/Pacific qualifier, most likely to be Samoa – who Scotland defeated in Japan – or perhaps Tonga, and the second European qualifier, which looks likely to be Romania.
Despite the tournament still being three years away and nearly half of the qualifying spots to be determined, the draw was made in Paris.
Elsewhere, Wales were drawn in Pool C alongside Australia, Fiji, Europe 1 and the final qualifier winner. Hosts France are set to face three-time tournament winners New Zealand in Pool A alongside Italy, Americas 1 and Africa 1. England are in Pool D alongside Japan, Argentina, Oceania 1 and Americas 2.
Only 12 teams have qualified for the tournament to date, with another eight to be finalised by November 2022. The sides are divided into four pools of five, with the top two from each pool going through to the quarter-finals.
The tournament is scheduled to run from 8 September 2023 to 21 October 2023 and the full fixture list, with dates, locations and times of all games, announced at the end of February 2021.
Pool A: New Zealand, France, Italy, Americas 1, Africa 1
Pool B: South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, Asia / Pacific 1, Europe 2
Pool C: Wales, Australia, Fiji, Europe 1, Final Qualifier Winner
Pool D: England, Japan, Argentina, Oceania 1, Americas 2