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Ian Foster: All Blacks face stern challenge in RWC pool

20 May 2017

The majority of our players who will feature in the next World Cup have already had that first contact with them and the style of rugby they aspire to play.

England's assignment in Pool C alongside age-old rivals France, and 2015 semi-finalists Argentina, evoked memories of their nightmare showing four years ago.

Pool B consists of the current World Cup holders New Zealand plus former champions South Africa and Conor O'Shea's Italy.

The trio wil be joined by the top qualifier from the Americas section and the second-placed side in the Oceania qualification group, which is likely to be either the United States or Canada, and Samoa. "We've got to find ways to become bulletproof and we've got two years to do it", Jones said.

"They have some strong forward play and some gas out wide, so between now and 2019 we're going to have to learn a bit about them".

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The pool of death for England once again, although closer inspection suggests that this won't be as tough as meeting Australia and Wales in 2015.

"You've got to be good enough to win those games or you can't expect to win a World Cup", Jones said.

Land Rover is a proud worldwide partner of Rugby World Cup 2019 and has a heritage in supporting rugby at all levels from grassroots to elite.

"We're pretty happy with the draw - every group is going to have some tough teams in it but from a Welsh perspective, I'm happy how it's turned out".

England are in the top group of seeds for the tournament.

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"If you look at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, we came up short in one half of one game at the end, and that cost us from winning seven in a row".

"It's simple - you've got to prepare well at the World Cup".

"My experience of the World Cup is that having two tough games is the best preparation".

The Boks' world ranking dropped from third at the beginning of 2016 to seventh in March this year, which meant that they fell into band two for the draw. "The minute you stop thinking like that is the minute you are dead in the water".

With the Rugby World Cup 2019 draw revealed last night in Tokyo, many All Blacks fans will be looking beyond the pool play and trying to work out potential quarter-final and semifinal match-ups. Georgia's ship may have sailed, however, after the retirements of Davit Zirakashvili and Mamuka Gorgodze, coupled with their route out of pool play which would require at the very least a win over Australia or Wales.

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