Fiji expected to join the pool of death

Samoan born Manu Tuilagi will be a thorn for Fiji in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo: Planet Rugby

Samoan born England centre Manu Tuilagi faces Fiji’s Vereniki Goneva . . . Tuilagi will be a thorn for Fiji in the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo: Planet Rugby

Fiji will most likely be pooled with Australia, hosts England and Wales for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Promptly named the ‘Pool of Death’, Fiji will be pooled with the host nation after the top three teams were pulled out of the container in the pick of the groups.

Fiji will face off with the winner from the Oceania region next year which will include American Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tahiti and Vanuatu.

The one-off match to be held in Fiji after the Oceania playoff next year will represent the Oceania 1 team which has been drawn for Pool A.

Australia, New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga have already qualified automatically after finishing in the top three of their respective pools at RWC 2011 in New Zealand.

After the November Tests, the top 12 teams have been divided into three bands with the resultant draws deciding the four pools.

RWC champion New Zealand find themselves alongside Argentina and Tonga, while South Africa meet Samoa and Scotland in Pool C.

The final Pool has a largely Six Nations feel to it as France, Ireland and Italy are drawn together.

The eight remaining teams will come from a series of global qualifying matches that started in Mexico in March and will culminate in 2014.

The quarter-final draw could see New Zealand up against either France, who knocked them out in the last eight in 2007, or an improving Ireland.

Meanwhile the winners of England, Australia or Wales will face Pool B’s runners-up, who on current form are likely to be Samoa or Scotland.

Whoever wins Pool A will avoid New Zealand until the final provided the All Blacks, as they have done at every previous World Cup, win their group.

The Pool B winners will face Pool A’s runners-up with the winners of a Pool D, where France will be favourites, facing the runners-up from Pool C, likely to be either Argentina or Tonga.

The 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, the eighth edition of the tournament, will run from September 18 to October 31, 2015, with the final set to be played at Twickenham.

RWC 2015 Pools:

Pool A: Australia, England, Wales, Oceana 1, Play-off winner

Pool B: South Africa, Samoa, Scotland, Asia 1, Americas 2

Pool C: New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga, Europe 1, Africa 1

Pool D: France, Ireland, Italy, Americas 1, Europe 2

At the draw it was also confirmed that the knockout phase structure will stay the same:

QF1: Winner Pool B v Runner-up Pool A
QF2: Winner Pool C v Runner-up Pool D
QF3: Winner Pool A v Runner-up Pool B
QF4: Winner Pool D v Runner-up Pool C

SF1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF2
SF2: Winner QF3 v Winner QF4

Bronze Final: Loser SF1 v Loser SF2

Final: Winner SF1 v Winner SF2


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