2023 Rugby World Cup draw confirmed as New Zealand face host France in pool stage

    The 2023 Rugby World Cup will be hosted by France from September 8 to October 21, 2023.

    (CNN)Three-time winner New Zealand will face host France at the 2023 Rugby World Cup after the pool stage draw was made on Monday.

    Both the All Blacks and France, which last hosted the tournament in 2007, will be confident of progressing through to the knockout stages after also drawing Italy in Pool A.
    Meanwhile, reigning champion South Africa is set to face Ireland and Scotland in Pool B whilst 2003 champion England will take on Japan, who hosted the last World Cup in 2019.
      It was a case of deja vu in Pool C, with Wales, Australia and Fiji all being paired together as they had been at the 2019 World Cup.
      It will be the fourth time Wales and Australia have played in each other in the last five tournaments.
      Only 12 countries have qualified so far with another eight still to be confirmed by November 2022.
      The 20 places have been split equally between four pools, with the top two sides going through to the quarterfinals.
      Seeds for the draw were made using last year's rankings after a number of teams have struggled to play matches amid the pandemic.
      The tournament is set to begin on September 8, 2023, and will be played in nine cities across France, with the final being held in Paris.
      South Africa won the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

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