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England meet Scots in World Cup

Rugby World Cup trophy

England have avoided all three Tri-Nations sides in the draw for the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

Martin Johnson's side were drawn with Scotland in Group B and will also play Argentina, the top European qualifier and the winner of a play-off.

In Pool D, Wales face holders South Africa, their 2007 conquerors Fiji and the top teams from Oceania and Africa.

Ireland will take on Australia, Italy and the second qualifiers from Europe and the Americas in Pool C.

Tournament favourites New Zealand are in Pool A alongside France, Tonga and the top qualifiers from the Americas and Asia.

Johnson predicts tight World Cup group

France find themselves pooled with a Tri-Nations team for the first time in the competition's history, and if New Zealand win their pool, England must do likewise to avoid a quarter-final meeting with the All Blacks.

England's defeat by New Zealand at Twickenham on Saturday saw them drop to sixth place in the world rankings.

As in 2007, there are four pools of five teams, with the top three positions in each pool filled by the 12 pre-qualified teams from the last World Cup.

The teams ranked one to four in the current world rankings were kept apart by the seeding system, with the next four teams - those ranked fifth to eighth - the second names into each pool.

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And the third teams in each pool were those which pre-qualified from the last World Cup and are ninth or lower in the rankings.

The final places will be filled by teams who have fought their way through qualification competitions taking place around the world.

Argentina - who are still lacking regular international opposition, with no place for them in either the Tri-Nations or the Six Nations - finished third at last year's World Cup, their best ever showing in the tournament.

IRB WORLD RANKINGS - 30 NOV
1 New Zealand
2 South Africa
3 Australia
4 Argentina
5 Wales
6 England
7 France
8 Ireland
9 Scotland
10 Fiji
11 Italy
12 Tonga
Reigning Six Nations champions Wales were the only northern hemisphere side to beat Tri-Nations opposition this autumn, defeating Australia 21-18 in Cardiff on Saturday, and they could face the Wallabies in the quarter-finals.

Fiji's victory over Wales in Nantes 14 months ago ended Gareth Jenkins' reign as coach, with Warren Gatland then taking over and guiding them to a Six Nations title.

Samoa look set to be the Oceania qualifiers, with possibly Namibia completing Wales' group as Africa qualifiers.

In Ireland's pool, the second European team is likely to be Georgia or Romania and the second Americas team the United States.

The tournament organisers plan to announce the match schedule in March.


2011 Rugby World Cup draw:

Pool A - New Zealand, France, Tonga, Americas 1, Asia 1

Pool B - Argentina, England, Scotland, Europe 1, play-off winner

Pool C - Australia, Ireland, Italy, Europe 2, Americas 2

Pool D - South Africa, Wales, Fiji, Oceania 1, Africa 1

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see also
Johnson excited by World Cup draw
01 Dec 08 |  Scottish
Hadden happy with World Cup draw
01 Dec 08 |  Scottish
Wales 21-18 Australia
29 Nov 08 |  Welsh
England 6-32 New Zealand
29 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
Autumn Test photos
29 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union
England drop to fifth in rankings
17 Nov 08 |  Rugby Union


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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
The Times England avoid Tri-Nations in World Cup - 22 mins ago
Telegraph England draw Argentina and Scotland in 2011 Rugby World Cup - 27 mins ago
Telegraph England get luck of the draw - 42 mins ago
Telegraph Sides to learn WC fate - 4 hrs ago
Telegraph England and Wales wait to learn fate in 2011 Rugby World Cup draw - 5 hrs ago


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